Nine arrests related to violent gang activity in southern Arizona

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 7:59 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Nine arrests have been made following the eleven warrants that were served Thursday, Feb. 3, by the FBI’s Southern Arizona Violent Crime and Gang Task Force.

The FBI helped Tucson police investigate this group for nearly two years and they say the arrests were a crippling blow to the organization.

“We’ve seized an excess of 40,000 fentanyl-laced pills. Including yesterday’s events, approximately 20 weapons and thousands of dollars in cash,” FBI Assistant Special Agent Steven Patterson said.

The FBI calls this gang a hybrid gang, meaning it doesn’t have a specific location and that its members operate largely over social media. The names and ages of those arrested have not been released, but we’re told many of the gang’s members are minors or young adults.

“It came to our attention there were several members that were very young, probably about 15 years of age. As we’ve gone through the investigation, the folks that have gained our attention are a little bit older in age,” TPD’s criminal investigation commander, James Wakefield, said.

TPD says the gang is connected to some of last year’s record-breaking number of homicides, as well as officer-involved shootings.

“They’ve been involved in numerous violent acts including shootings, robberies, assaults, and we’re not going to accept this level of violence in the community,” TPD assistant chief John Strader said.

“These individuals had no due regard for anyone’s safety, whether it be law enforcement or the community. If you are in their way or you had something they wanted to acquire,” Chief Chad Kasmar said.

While there is still more to be done, officers say that members of the community should be able to breathe a sigh of relief.

“I think something that we can say definitively, is they’re in a safer place today than they were before this operation,” Strader said.

The FBI and TPD say they are still going over the evidence recovered Thursday.

This is an ongoing investigation.

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