Oakland police confiscate weapons, crack down on gang 'super cell' in early morning raid

A multi-agency, multi-city operation was conducted early Thursday in Oakland and 16 other locations, yielding a plethora of weapons and more than a dozen people taken into custody.

A total of 16 people were detained for questioning and two dozen guns, including illegally modified assault pistols were seized. 

Capt. Ersie Joyner said the weapons and suspects are connected to crimes ranging from murder, conspiracy to commit murder, grand theft, residential robberies, shootings and other types of gun violence. He said these suspects “waged war and took out aggressions on rival gangs.” 

The K-9 unit from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives discovered some of the guns in the hidden wall of an East Oakland home behind a layer of sheet rock. 

The operation took seven months to plan and execute. Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick says back in October, the police department’s Ceasefire unit noticed an increase in gang activity - and gang alliances.

“We had a ‘super cell’ of different gangs coming together,” she said. 

Joyner said that police learned that three groups were the predominant culprits throughout the region, involved in multiple shootings.  

“We know that one gun was connected to 17 other shooting events,” Kirkpatrick said.

Police began serving search warrants and making arrests before dawn, not just in Oakland, but also in San Leandro, Hayward, Antioch, Vallejo and Richmond. 

As occupants of those homes were led away in handcuffs Thursday morning, some of the youngest and most vulnerable residents, were carried out by police and released to their grandparents and other family members.

Oakland police said not all of the suspected gang members were taken into custody and the investigation is ongoing.