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Thread: Congrats To Ft. Worth,tx. P.d.
09-01-06, 06:44 PM #1
Congrats To Ft. Worth,tx. P.d.
Raids target feuding gangs
By ALEX BRANCH
STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER
FORT WORTH — About 100 local and federal agents raided seven houses in north Fort Worth on Wednesday night, an operation one police official said was designed to “send a message” to two feuding gangs.
Authorities arrested six people and seized 11 weapons, along with ammunition and marijuana, said Lt. David Burgess of the Fort Worth police gang unit.
Violence between the gangs has escalated all summer, police said, culminating with the Aug. 19 fatal shooting of cousins Pedro Alvarado Jr., 14, and Marcelino Benitez, 18, in the 2500 block of Northwest 22nd Street.
A retaliatory drive-by shooting occurred the next day, but no one was hit, Burgess said.
“These gangs have had some people in the neighborhood sleeping on the floor at night out of fear,” Burgess said. “We had gotten word that both sides were stockpiling weapons.
“We wanted to let them know this will not be tolerated.”
Officers have saturated the area since the killings, he said. Police obtained search warrants after receiving information that weapons were being stored in several houses.
Two of the houses are in the 2400 block of Lincoln Avenue, and two are in the 2500 and 2600 blocks of Northwest 26th Street. The other houses are in the 2100 block of Lincoln, the 2900 block of Market Avenue and the 900 block of Northwest 30th Street.
State troopers, FBI SWAT members, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and police officers formed seven teams. At 9 p.m., they served the warrants simultaneously.
“We didn’t want to hit one, then have someone drive by and call the other houses to tip them off,” Burgess said. “So the warrants were served all within five minutes of each other.”
Gang officers arrested three men on weapons charges. ICE agents arrested three more men on weapons and immigration charges. Most of those arrested were between the ages of 17 and 20, Burgess said.
Six handguns, three rifles, a shotgun and brass knuckles were seized, he said.
Police don’t know what started the feud, but it festered for weeks, increasing in violence with each act of retribution, Burgess said.
Along the way, it made life miserable for residents, he said. Complaints have increased.
“We’re going to keep the pressure on,” he said. “Gang members are elusive, and we obviously didn’t get everyone.”
City Councilman Sal Espino, who represents much of the north side, praised police for taking the strong action and said he hopes the arrests will prevent violence over Labor Day weekend.
He said north Fort Worth did not have a big increase in gang deaths this summer.
But, he said, “A few weeks ago, we lost two of our residents. That’s too many. We need to work so it doesn’t happen again.”
Capt. D. Larimore
NTISF Gang Unit
09-25-06, 12:56 PM #2Rookie
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Little late, but I hadn't seen this information. Awesome job, Fort Worth.
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