SAN BERNARDINO - Using wiretaps, investigators targeted a Westside gang in a year-long narcotics operation that culminated Wednesday with 22 arrests during a large-scale sweep.
Scooped up in the early morning raid of the Delmann Heights Ghetto Boys were major drug dealers and a barber who filed a $5 million claim against the city alleging excessive force during his arrest last October.
They've been responsible for robberies, burglaries and homicides and being one of the more violent gangs in the city, it gave us an opportunity to look at them, said Lt. Ron Maass. This is what we hoped for. But we're not done.
San Bernardino police worked with county, state and federal authorities to serve 39 warrants early
San Bernardino County Sheriff Rod Hoops looks over a table full of weapons, drugs and gang-related items taken in as evidence during a multiagency sweep targeting the Delmann Heights Ghetto Boys, aka Delmann Heights Bloods, on Wednesday. Investigators targeted the San Bernardino Westside gang in a year-long narcotics operation, including the use of wiretaps, that culminated with 22 arrests during a large-scale sweep. (Al Cuizon/Staff Photographer)
Wednesday. Homes in Victorville, Moreno Valley and Perris were also hit.
Authorities seized 32 pounds of methamphetamine, $20,000 cash, 10 guns, two vehicles and a plethora of gang paraphernalia.
Those are hardcore drugs that were here to be peddled in our city, said Mayor Pat Morris. That kind of product broken down at the street level would have broken the minds of hundreds of thousands of young people.
The gang, which was targeted with an injunction seven years ago, claims 200 members and began gaining notoriety two decades ago.
One of its associates was highlighted Wednesday by police because his initial arrest Oct. 19 drew outrage when a video of his scuffle with police was captured on cell phone video and posted on YouTube.
Darren Johnson, 44, has claimed that officers used excessive force when they took him into custody in a 7-Eleven parking lot.
Although police remained mum about the circumstances surrounding Johnson's arrest, Police Chief Keith Kilmer said Wednesday that he was elated to finally be able to talk about the case.
Authorities were monitoring Johnson for this operation and after pulling him over for a traffic violation, police say they found 6.8 grams of rock cocaine on him.
That side of the story needs to be told, Kilmer said.
Johnson has been charged with resisting arrest, possession of drugs for sale and conspiracy, with a gang enhancement. He remains jailed on $150,000 bail.
Carl Douglas, an attorney who is representing Johnson in his civil lawsuit, did not return a call for comment Wednesday.
Kilmer said the internal investigation is complete and officers were found to have acted appropriately during their October run-in with Johnson.
Other arrests include Percy Goodwill Jr., who was charged in 2008 with punching his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach and using his vehicle to pin her against a chain link fence; and Wilbur Murray, whom investigators said was a shotcaller and well-known drug dealer within the Delmann Heights gang.
A top-ranking official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives described the raid as a significant takedown.
I guarantee the city of San Bernardino is safer tonight than it was 24 hours ago, said Special Agent in Charge John Torres.
Stacia Glenn, Staff Writer