On Dec. 6, the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD), with the assistance of the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspector’s Office and the Internal Revenue Service, served search warrants at 32 locations across the Southland, as part of a long and intensive investigation that originally began in November 2009.
The original operation was part of a months-long, multi-agency investigation that stemmed from 13 shootings and a murder investigation that spanned over three years. Multiple search warrants were served and numerous arrests were made of gang members from the Baby Insane Crip criminal street gang, and evidence linking this gang, as well as some of their family members and associates, to a large-scale fraud ring.
The LBPD, with the assistance of the US Secret Service and the US Postal Inspector’s Office, continued the investigation into the members of the gang. The joint investigation determined that the gang was heavily involved in identity theft and tax fraud. Investigators learned that the suspects were stealing personal identifying information to commit various financial crimes, including the filing of fraudulent tax returns.
Through investigative work, it was determined that there had been tens of thousands of dollars in losses to the federal government, and hundreds of thousands of dollars more of attempted fraud identified, totaling over $1 million in losses combined. The stolen proceeds from these crimes were used to fund the gang’s “extravagant lifestyle,” according to the LBPD.
The operation utilized more than 200 detectives and agents from LBPD, the US Secret Service and the US Postal Inspector’s Office. The 32 search warrants were served in Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Harbor City, Van Nuys, Carson, Inglewood, Gardena, Anaheim, Cerritos and Los Angeles. Eleven individuals were arrested, including members of the Baby Insane Crip gang as well as family members and associates. With the assistance of the Los Angeles County Department of Children & Family Services, eight children were taken into protective custody.
Thousands of dollars in cash were seized in addition to several tens of thousands of dollars worth of property that included 10 guns (one assault rifle, one shotgun and eight handguns), major electronics such as numerous large-screen plasma TVs, and stereo and video-projection equipment, multiple cars including several high-end vehicles and a $50,000 boat.
“We would like this operation to serve as another strong message to the gangs in the city of Long Beach and throughout the region that we will not stand for the destruction you bring to our communities and will do everything within our power to stop the violence and corruption that you inflict upon society,” said Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell. “We will continue to unite with our law-enforcement partners at the local, county, state and federal levels and utilize every tool available to us to target, not only you, but those who conspire with you to victimize members of our community for your personal gain.”
The LBPD states that residents should be extremely cautious whenever asked to provide any personal information, via Internet, over the phone or in person, and to closely monitor bank-account activity to ensure information hasn’t been compromised.
The LBPD states that all parties involved in the operation have “played a vital role in dealing yet another blow to this gang in an effort to reduce criminal activity and violence in our community.”