OAKLAND — In its first action since March 21 when two team leaders were killed, the Oakland Police Department SWAT team raided an East Oakland house Friday morning where a shotgun and marijuana were seized and 42-year-old man was arrested.
Since March 21, when two sergeants were killed, SWAT operations had been handled for Oakland police by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office while Oakland's policies and procedures were being reviewed.
Department spokesman Jeff Thomason said the Oakland SWAT team had not stopped training since the incident, but that one of the reasons they did not begin operations sooner was to give new team leaders enough time to get "acclimated to their duties."
SWAT Sgts. Erv Romans and Daniel Sakai were killed in a gunfight with parolee Lovelle Mixon, who had fatally shot two motorcycle police, Officer John Hege and Sgt. Mark Dunakin, before hiding in an apartment SWAT eventually raided.
Friday's operation happened just after 7 a.m. at a house in the 2600 block of 78th Avenue. Police received a tip a week ago that drugs were being stored at the house for a ring that operates at 84th Avenue and Dowling Street.
The house was put under surveillance and evidence was gathered to obtain a search warrant, which was served Friday morning. Arrested on Friday was Reggie Beamon, 42, a reputed member of the drug ring, on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale, authorities said.
Officer Geno Guerrero, of the department's weapons/gangs investigations task force, said a pistol-grip 12-gauge shotgun was found in the house's basement and that 1½ half pounds of marijuana, with a street value of $10,000, also was recovered.
Some of the marijuana was in the house and some was hidden under an outside staircase, Guerrero said. Some $600 was found in a nightstand inside.
Capt. Ed Tracey was on the scene Friday and remains in charge of SWAT operations even after requesting he be relieved of his SWAT duties when officers raised concerns about his leadership.
Officers had asked that Tracey be reassigned because of his decision to stay at Highland Hospital, where Hege and Dunakin had been taken March 21, rather than overseeing the search for Mixon. Tracey commands the department's special operations division, which includes the traffic unit as well as SWAT.
The department announced earlier this month that it will hold a board of inquiry, which will include members of the department and people from outside it, to investigate the entirety of what happened March 21. The results will be shared publicly, the department has said.