3 Oakland gangs form ‘super cell’; 16 arrested

Bay Area

Authorities in Oakland on Thursday arrested 16 people representing three gangs that together formed what authorities are calling a “super cell.”

A “super cell” is defined by officials as different gangs that have come together to drive violence in the city. 

Crimes included conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, robbery, multiple burglaries of marijuana grow operations, several residential robberies, gun violence, violence against people, grand theft, and weapons involvement.

Officials began an investigation around 7 months ago after noticing an uptick in shootings in north Oakland. 

The raid spanned several Bay Area cities, with search warrants served in the following cities:

  • Antioch
  • Hayward
  • Oakland
  • Richmond
  • San Leandro
  • Vallejo

Authorities said 10 SWAT teams were called several agencies were involved. 

Prior to today’s arrests, officials said they had already made over two dozen arrests.

Officials are looking into presenting more cases to the District Attorney’s office seeking more charges. 

“We are not trying to eradicate gangs, we’re just trying to eliminate gang violence,” authorities said. 

Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick said overall safety was the main concern. 

“This has a citywide impact in regards to alleged criminal behaviors. The locations of finding them for purposes of taking them into custody or taking the weaponry were centralized,” she said. 

A minimum of two dozen weapons were also recovered, according to Police Chief Kirkpatrick. 

Police Chief Kirkpatrick said one gun was connected to 17 other shooting events alone. 

That analysis was made thanks to scientific efforts on behalf of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), a specialized computer network that was used to link shootings in Oakland to three gangs in the city. 

Police Chief Kirkpatrick said she was first alerted of the formation of a “super cell” after the Ceasefire team provided her with information that a trend of shootings was happened in Oakland. 

That team presented evidence to Police Chief Kirkpatrick and that led to the ongoing investigation. 

“It’s not the type of investigation we’d be sharing with a lot of people internally, because it’s a higher-end investigation,” she said. 

Police Chief Kirkpatrick said the most disturbing thing about Thursday’s raid was witnessing children there. 

“[One of the officers] was carrying a precious little baby out of the house where we know weapons were there.. as well as the other children. I think I saw about four children,” she said. “She didn’t have her shoes on.. it was cold this morning. Anytime the innocence is having to experience police coming into their homes, it’s frightening. That is always troubling. I think we all have a heart of compassion for that. They are the innocents.”

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