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39 arrested in Inland gang sweep

Officers from 5 counties target suspected gang members in the Jurupa-Rubidoux area.

March 01, 2007|From a Times Staff Writer

More than 660 officers from Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties participated in a gang sweep Wednesday morning targeting nearly 70 suspected members of two rival gangs, the West Side Rivas and the West Side Project Crips, based in the Jurupa-Rubidoux area.

An official from the Riverside-Jurupa Valley Gang Task Force said the two gangs had been warring for years, but shootings and assaults spiked a year and a half ago after a suspected Project Crips member killed an alleged member of the West Side Rivas.

After a nine-month investigation by Riverside County's new gang task force, 39 suspected gang members were arrested during the sweep. Eight were detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Officers seized at least 38 weapons, including sawed-off shotguns, semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles, as well as $17,000 in cash, methamphetamine, marijuana and rock cocaine, according to Riverside County sheriff's officials.

Riverside County Dist. Atty. Rod Pacheco said his office was reviewing the cases and might file charges as soon as today. Officials hope the firearms uncovered in the sweep will help the district attorney's office solve many of the crimes believed to be linked to the gangs, including four homicides, he said.

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