Thirty-three people, including members of the white supremacist Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, have been arrested in six northeast Ohio counties as part of an investigation into drug and weapon sales.
Authorities indicate that over 80 weapons, including automatic machine guns, were seized during raids, which took place in the early hours of June 23 in Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Summit, Trumbull, Mahoning and Lake counties; a methamphetamine lab was also raided. The suspects are expected to be charged with various weapons and drug violations.
The extensive operation, involving more than 125 local and federal agents, began nearly two years ago after a gang member threatened two police officers. Personal information about the officers and automatic weapons were found in a car belonging to two men who were later arrested.
According to authorities, about 20 percent of those arrested are members of Aryan Brotherhood. Members of the Pagans Motorcycle gang were also arrested. Eleven additional arrest warrants have been issued.
Special Agent Patrick Berarducci of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the operation is significant “because it shows criminal gangs are moving out of the big cities and into the suburbs.”
The Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, founded in the mid 1960’s in California, has built its reputation on violence and intimidation. The gang is involved in drug trafficking, extortion, gambling and protection rackets in federal and state prisons across the country.