Thursday, June 29, 2017
Local law enforcement together with Federal Law Enforcement Agencies served search warrants in 60 locations throughout the San Jacinto Valley on Thursday morning beginning 6 a.m.
With Operation Valley Vigilance, what’s being called the largest single-day gang takedown in Riverside County history conducted by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Gang Impact Team including the Hemet Police Department, FBI, ATF, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations hit 60 homes, dozens were arrested for federal charges, 77 firearms were seized along with at least 4 pounds of narcotics.
Most of the suspects arrested were living in Hemet, where the largest part of the operation was executed. All of the target residences were raided at approximately the same time, surprising many citizens who witnessed the raids taking place.
A press conference was held the same day at 1 p.m. at the City of Hemet Council chambers, where Hemet Police Chief David Brown and Riverside District Attorney Mike Hestrin spoke about operation Valley Vigilance.
“Operation Valley Vigilance is part of a larger countywide effort to rid our county of violence,” Hemet police Chief Dave Brown said.
Due to recent changes with state laws to AB109 and Prop47, people charged with state sentences were serving a much shorter time. Operation Valley Vigilance employed a different strategy, where criminals are being hit with federal charges in order to keep them off the street for longer.
As was stated in the press conference, Thursday morning was only the beginning of operation Valley Vigilance and more is to come in the future.
“Where state laws have failed the people of California, federal laws sometimes are applicable and if they are applicable, we will go down that road. The message to criminals should be clear and unambiguous – we will be coming for you. Maybe not today, but soon,” Hestrin said.