OAKLAND -- In an effort to crack down on violence linked to a notorious West Oakland gang, about 200 police and FBI agents served 16 search warrants around the East Bay on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, arresting five suspects and seizing guns and narcotics, officials said Thursday.
Oakland Lt. Tony Jones said more arrests are expected and vowed that police would remain vigilant monitoring suspected gang activity in the Acorn housing complex and be "in a position to step in" if there is more violence.
Gerald Bessette, assistant special agent in charge of the San Francisco office of the FBI, said his agency would continue to work with Oakland police to target gangs and reduce violence in the city.
Thirteen of the warrants served and all the arrests -- four adults and a juvenile -- were in the Acorn housing complex, which is bounded by 8th, 10th, Market and Adeline streets. The other warrants were served in Antioch, San Leandro and Hayward.
It has not been decided if those arrested will be prosecuted in state or federal court. Their names were not released.
The joint operation began about 8 p.m. Wednesday and concluded about 1 a.m. Thursday. No injuries were reported.
Jones said the raids were not based on drug activity but on the violence the gang has been linked to for many years, including killings and nonfatal shootings mainly involving feuds with other gangs. He said residents in the area "had been afraid to come outside and walk in the neighborhood" and it is now hoped "people will feel safer when they come out of their homes."
Some residents offered handshakes to officers after the raids were completed, police said.
The investigation began in February and shows that police "are looking for every possible way to reduce crime in Oakland," Chief Howard Jordan said.
Jones said some gang members were able to escape before the raids started and some weapons were moved to new hiding places. But, he said, "we do the best we can. I'm satisfied with the results."
The gang at Acorn was targeted before, in June 2008, when hundreds of police, FBI and other law enforcement officers made 54 arrests at the complex in a cased dubbed Operation Nutcracker. It could not be confirmed if any of those arrested Wednesday were arrested then.