OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Our cameras were rolling Tuesday morning as federal and local drug agents seized more than 200 marijuana plants, packaged pot, guns and indoor grow equipment from two homes near the corner of 78th Avenue and Lockwood Street in East Oakland.
Law enforcement officials also seized a fully-automatic rifle and a handgun, but pot and guns weren't all that they found.
Deputy U.S. marshals arrested a drug suspect who had been on the run for two years, wanted on a federal drug indictment in Fresno. KTVU has learned that the fugitive is 34-year-old Eduardo Ortega Chavez.
Chavez will make his first appearance Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Oakland. He is being held without bail at a downtown Oakland jail.
"He was moving around a good bit. He gave us a little run for our money, but we were able to track him down here in Oakland, get him into custody," said Frank Conroy, supervisory deputy U.S. marshal.
Sources say the fugitive is known as a 'chop shop' mechanic. Agents seized car parts as part of the investigation today, which included deputy U.S. marshals, Drug Enforcement Administration agents, the Alameda County Narcotics Task Force and district attorney's inspectors.
Agents also arrested a second man, who they say was driving the fugitive. He also faces federal charges.
The names of the suspects haven't been released.
Residents told us they're grateful for the arrests. They say drug suspects don't belong in neighborhoods where kids play and citizens are trying to enjoy life.
We spoke to a man who wished to be identified only as Lamont. He didn't want to go on camera for fear of retaliation.
"It's a good thing they're sending in the police. They're trying to clean up the community, based on the fact that neighborhood kids are around," Lamont said.
Agents say they're grateful for the community support.
"These types of fugitives, they nestle in these neighborhoods that have a lot of hard-working folks and law-abiding citizens within them, so they try to hide more so in plain sight," Conroy said.
"But with these indoor grows, they do utilize a lot of power, which can cause electrical fires. It can be a real hazard in the neighborhood," Conroy said. "Also, with the amount of drug distribution that goes with a grow house, there's a lot of foot traffic, there's a lot of people who aren't from here, who don't necessarily care about the neighborhood, don't care about the people within the neighborhood, so we're trying to get rid of those people."