Big gang bust in Richmond

- Five men and a 15-year-old boy have been arrested in raids dubbed "Operation Crescent Moon" and "Operation Big House."

Richmond police, the FBI and Contra Costa County prosecutors say the suspects have ties to a criminal street gang and are responsible for a rash of violent crimes across the bay area.

"Their crimes include murder, and the conspiracy to commit murder, human trafficking involving the sex trade, robbery, to include home invasion takeovers," said Richmond Police Chief Allwyn Brown.

Those arrested were Darrelvone Waters, Deshwan Ford, David Jones, Giovante Warren, Wiljay Bernstine and a 15-year-old boy whose name was withheld because he is a minor.

Investigators seized 11 guns during coordinated raids in Richmond, El Sobrante, Antioch, Oakland and Sacramento. The weapons were displayed at a news conference at Richmond police headquarters.

"This is some of the evidence that was seized this morning," Brown said, motioning to a picture of other items seized during the raids. "That's an amount - I don't know the exact amount - but an amount of cash, narcotics, credit card fraud."

Also on display were blurred-out pictures of other gang members who police say they're keeping a close eye on.

"We don't want to show their actual faces," Brown said. "They haven't been arrested, yet."

Police say members of the gang are responsible for shootings, home invasions in Oakland and San Jose and three homicides since last year.

One of the victims was 20-year-old Allie Sweitzer of Discovery Bay, shot dead at a Booker T. Anderson Park in May. Investigators say she was killed during a drug transaction, after an argument over the price.

Authorities are still looking for 20-year-old Teari Watts in her killing. The 15-year-old boy is in custody for her death.

"This is a case that has impact," said John Bennett, special agent in charge, of the FBI in San Francisco. "People in the city of Richmond and the Bay Area should not live in fear."

investigators are also looking for Teari Watts' 19-year-old brother, Josha Watts, for a probation violation.

"I give a warning to the other ones out there: you better start looking over your shoulder, because they're coming, and it's not something we're going to announce," Bennett said.

 

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