OAKLAND -- Seven reputed members of an Oakland gang, who had been warned by authorities there would be consequences if their behavior did not change, were detained Friday morning in a series of police raids in Oakland and other Northern California cities, officials said.
Four locations in east and north Oakland, as well as sites in El Sobrante and Santa Cruz, were raided Friday morning by SWAT officers and other police seeking suspects and evidence in a variety of violent crimes, authorities said.
Besides the seven detained, several guns and some drugs were also seized. The name of the gang or the suspects detained were not released. The seven were being questioned by investigators, who were to determine if they would be arrested or released.
Police would not disclose where the raids took place, but one was on Octavia Street and another in the Maxwell Park area of East Oakland. Assisting Oakland police were SWAT teams from Alameda and Contra Costa counties and the Santa Cruz Police Department.
Authorities said police were seeking suspects involved in homicides, nonfatal shootings and robberies.
At a news conference Friday, Oakland police Chief Howard Jordan said the raids culminated a multiagency investigation headed by Oakland police to deal with a surge of violence that started in the city toward the end of last year.
Even though the gang was not named, law enforcement sources said it is believed the group is responsible
Jordan said that some of those detained as well as other members of the gang were warned via Operation Ceasefire, where suspected violent offenders in the city are told by police and city officials to change their behavior and lead law-abiding lives or police would use "every legal means to bring you to justice."
"These individuals were given warnings but did not adhere to the warnings," Jordan said.
Because the investigations into the individuals are ongoing, Capt. Ersie Joyner III, who headed the investigation, said police would not provide specific details about the cases.
The raids began before daybreak and went on for several hours. There were no reported injuries.
Police have carried out similar operations and raids in the past in an effort to deal with violent crime.
As part of the raids, police sent an email alert to residents telling them about the police activity and assuring them, "there is no ongoing threat to public safety or emergency."