RIVERSIDE – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez today announced the arrest of 15 individuals; the seizure of 14 firearms, including 2 assault weapons, and the seizure of illegal drugs including methamphetamine and cocaine, as part of a takedown of gang members in Riverside, California.
This operation targeted criminal activities by the Casa Blanca Gangster Crips criminal street gang located in the neighborhood of Casa Blanca in south Riverside. The gang has a violent criminal history and has committed a variety of crimes to enhance their status as a criminal street gang. The alleged criminal activities include murder, assault, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and assault, as well as possession of illegal firearms and narcotics, illegal marijuana sales, and gang enhancements.
“The California Department of Justice will continue to zero in on dangerous street gangs that target, terrorize, and harass our communities,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Our collaborations with law enforcement agencies such as the Riverside Police Department are indispensable to provide communities the help they need to keep our neighborhoods safe. I want to thank the men and women who performed admirably to make this operation a success. Thanks to them, families in south Riverside can sleep a little safer tonight.”
“The strong relationships we have with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners were a significant part to the success of breaking down this gang’s negative influence in this neighborhood,” said Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez. "But just as important was the cooperation received from our community, helping in these investigations. Without that cooperation, our results may have been different.”
The operation termed “Operation Blocc Buster” was the product of a joint investigation by the California Department of Justice and California Highway Patrol Special Operations Unit, and the Riverside Police Department Gang Unit. As a result of the investigation, at least two violent crimes, including robbery and assault, were prevented. In addition, a primary homicide suspect was arrested in Oklahoma as a result of the investigation.
The Special Operations Unit is a collaborative investigative effort between the California Department of Justice and the California Highway Patrol that provides statewide enforcement for combating violent career criminals, gangs, and organized crime groups, along with intrastate drug traffickers. These unique and essential teams use the latest technology and advanced investigative techniques and work alongside local law enforcement to enhance investigations into violent criminals and organized crime throughout the state.
Under Attorney General Becerra’s leadership, the California Department of Justice has made a tenacious effort to work with local law enforcement agencies throughout California to target gang activity, making hundreds of arrests related to gang activity. Those collaborative actions include: