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Aug 20, 2014 7:00 PM by Brian White

Multi-agency raid busts Eastside Crips

TUCSON - Sixteen suspects were arrested Wednesday in an early, multi-agency raid targeting Tucson's Eastside Crips.

The arrests were the culmination of a year-long investigation into what Tucson Police call a dangerous crime syndicate.

Here's video of the arrest of one suspect:

"It's a significant day for Tucson and it's a day we're quite proud of," Tucson Police Chief Villasenor said in a press conference Wednesday.

The gang has been monitored by police since 2004, Villasenor said, and are suspected to be involved in area shootings and homicides.

Members of the Eastside Crips have ties as far as New York and Florida, Villasenor added. The syndicate is known to launder money and deal drugs, Villasenor said.

Tucson's gang unit, 2 ATF special response teams and a unit from DPS were among the teams who served 16 arrest warrants at 9 locations, including the Air Tight recording studio in the 100 Block of South Kolb Road. The arrests were made safely without incident, Villasenor said.

"It was a safe day for law enforcement," ATF Special Agent Thomas Atteberry said.

Villasenor credited TPD's new ballistic crime lab at the westside substation and the joint effort from the various agencies for their work in the investigation.

The roundup started 4 a.m. Wednesday. One of the members of the tactical team shot his weapon at an aggressive dog but the animal was unharmed, Villasenor said.

Special Agent Atteberry said the operation was resource intensive and used agents from all over the U.S. He said the homicides related to this gang make the arrests important.

Here's the full video of the press conference:

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