FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Federal and local law enforcement crime fighters are sending the message that gang violence will not be tolerated in Fresno County.
Officials announced Monday the arrest of 103 fugitives following a five-day gang sweep across the region.
"There have been dozens of US Marshals on the streets working with local law enforcement and state law enforcement to get those with arrest warrants off the streets and processed and into the criminal justice system," said McGregor Scott, U.S. Attorney.
"Operation Washout," an effort led by the U.S. Marshal service and local agencies including Fresno Police, was established to crack down on organized crime and bring relief to communities ravaged by violence
"Our goal often times is to, and throughout the course of a year, when we do gang operations, is to target the most violent, active and influential within our community, and that's what this operation did. Out of the 103 arrests that were made 72 of those were gang members," said Chief Jerry Dyer, Fresno Police Department.
As a direct result of this initiative, officers were able to stop the recent abduction of a six-month-old child in the Fresno County town of Selma
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"They became aware of the abduction and called upon the resources that were available through this task force, and that crime was solved, and a man was arrested and will face charges for child abduction here in Fresno County," Scott said.
Last year the City of Fresno had 56 murders, and more than half were committed by gang members.
Police Chief Jerry Dyer touted the operation for its recovery of 18 illegal firearms and the disruption of criminal activity locally, "For every firearm that we seize its generally tied to three different shootings so when you take 18 firearms off the street like this you have the potential to reducing 54 shootings in your city."
Along with the 18 guns that were taken off the streets law enforcement officials also seized 37 thousand dollars.
103 fugitives arrested in large-scale gang enforcement operation, 'Operation Washout'