Officers Execute 'Operation Street Sweep' In Metro

Thursday, September 8th 2011, 6:09 pm
By: News 9

Jamie Oberg, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma County's largest joint operation to arrest known gang members got underway Thursday, the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office reported.

On the first day of "Operation Street Sweep," a dozen gang members were put behind bars due to the efforts of the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Marshals, Oklahoma City police, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and officials from the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

"'We're taking back Oklahoma County' is probably the best way to say it.  The sheriff is fed up with the gang population," Fugitive Warrant Squad Sgt. Larry Grant said.

Law enforcement teams armed with guns and warrants sought gang members in Oklahoma County.

"Gangs are a big problem everywhere," Grant said.

The sheriff's office said the sweep netted four known gang members wanted on murder charges.

"You go from one house to another house to another house, and sooner or later you're going to click," Grant said.

Sometimes the efforts don't lead to an arrest, but team members said they're spurred by what happened in May, when Major John Waldenville.  Officers said they also want to keep Oklahoma County safe.

"When gang members feel so bold to go and shoot a uniformed officer without warning, they have become a huge, even a bigger threat to our citizens," Sheriff John Whetsel said. "If you're in a gang and you have a warrant, we hope to see you soon."

"That's motivation enough for us because that's what we do, that's the job we have on the warrant team to go bring them in," Grant said.

The operation is ongoing and the teams are trying to serve more than 2,500 outstanding warrants on gang members in and around the metro area.