Dozens of local police officers and agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Marshals Service served warrants in some of the more destitute neighborhoods of the valley, arresting 12 gang members while confiscating 21 pounds of methamphetamine and other drugs, Las Vegas police said Saturday.
The suspects, including two women, were booked on an assortment of state and federal drug charges Saturday morning, two days after the raids were carried out at five separate apartments in different parts of North Las Vegas and Las Vegas.
One site was just blocks from the North Las Vegas Police Department headquarters.
A pair of assault rifles, a little more than two dozen grams of cocaine and 5 ounces of marijuana also were confiscated, Metropolitan Police Department officials said.
The arrests were made after undercover officers purchased 5 pounds of meth at an apartment complex near Charleston and Lamb boulevards, then secured warrants that resulted in Thursday’s raids, which officials called Operation Washout.
At one of the locations, in the 2200 block of Daley Street, just off Lake Mead Boulevard, neighbors dismissed the idea that there was any sort of violent gang operating in their neighborhood.
“They’re just kids,” said one woman, who declined to give her name.
Said her friend, standing just a few yards from where one of the raids took place: “I’m from Los Angeles. That’s where there are real gangs. These kids are just wannabes.” He also declined to identify himself.
Police officials provided little information as to the scale of Operation Washout or the name of the gang involved, saying more information would be released as more arrests are made, something that’s expected.
Officer Chrissie Coon of the North Las Vegas Police Department said she could not remember a drug bust as big as an operation in 2003, when members of the Rolling 60s, a notorious Los Angeles gang, were operating in Las Vegas. The arrests of dozens of Rolling 60s members ended in a number of convictions, including for RICO violations, which stands for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations. Commonly known as the RICO Act, leaders of organized crime were tried and convicted of ordering others to sell and distribute drugs.
Suspects arrested Saturday were:
■\u2002Jorge Alejandro Acosta, 22, of North Las Vegas
■\u2002Manuel Cardusorafael, 23, of North Las Vegas
■\u2002Guadalupe Tamayo, 26, of North Las Vegas
■\u2002Edgar Robles, 24, of North Las Vegas
■\u2002Roberto Nabarro, aka Jesus Delbalt-Garcia, 29, of Las Vegas
■\u2002Fabian Sarmiento, 19, of North Las Vegas
■\u2002Claudia Madrid-Valdez, 30, of Las Vegas
■\u2002Lleimmy Madrid-Valdez, 22, of Las Vegas
■\u2002Jonathan Vega, 19, of Las Vegas
The search warrants were served at the following locations:
■\u20024200 block of Middlesex Avenue
■\u20024700 block of Lucite Lane
■\u20022200 block of Daley Street in North Las Vegas
■\u20021500 block of South Christy Lane
■\u20023300 block of South Arville Street
The Nevada Department of Parole and Probation joined in the investigation.
Contact reporter Tom Ragan at email@example.com or 702-224-5512.