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Federal agents, Anaheim police conduct major gun sweep

Federal agents and Anaheim police conducted a major gun sweep Friday morning, officials said, arresting more than a dozen alleged gang members on suspicion of various firearms-related offenses.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives led a task force during the early-morning dragnet, dubbed Operation Halo, in a city that has seen a jump in gun crimes.

Special Agent Christian Hoffman said authorities have several suspects in custody in Anaheim and various other locations. Anaheim Police Sgt. Bob Dunn said the department is assisting the ATF in the operation. Several young men were removed from homes in handcuffs by agents assisted by SWAT teams.

FBI crime statistics show that after several years of decline, violent crimes in Anaheim increased 10% last year, going from 1,161 to 1,281; murders nearly doubled, from 7 to 15. The increase went against a national trend that saw a 4% decrease in violent crime.

Anaheim police say they are seeing an uptick in gang crimes with guns, which could be a factor in an increase in deadly confrontations involving officers. Police have fatally shot five people in the city this year. 

"The gang crime involving guns is up 40%. The number of guns taken from gang members is up 233%," Dunn said. "The gang crime is up, but importantly, it is the amount of guns from gangs we're seeing."

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-- Richard Winton

 
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