Federal officials announced this week that 43 of 46 defendants facing federal charges in last year's Operation Garlic Press have pleaded guilty to drug and firearm charges.
About 100 people were arrested in the multi-agency sweep targeting illegal Norteño gang enterprises. More than half of the suspects faced state charges, including auto theft and insurance fraud counts.
About 40 of those arrested in the Gilroy-based investigation were from Monterey County.
Agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began the investigation in March 2010 in collaboration with Gilroy police. When it culminated in October 2011, more than 400 officers from about 40 agencies were involved, including Salinas police and the Monterey County Sheriff's Office.
During the October 2011 sweeps, federal agents and local police seized 86 vehicles, 52 firearms and methamphetamine with a street value said to be more than $100,000.