The Riverside County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday that Operation Pass Resolve netted 174 arrests over the past 15 months and recovered 23 firearms from the pass area, according to Riverside District Attorney Mike Hestrin during a half-hour news conference in Beaumont.
Hestrin was joined at the news conference in the Fellowship in the Pass Church gymnasium by the police chiefs of Banning, Beaumont, Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs and Corona, along with the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Alcohol and Firearms, and Department of Corrections, among other agencies.
The Gang Impact Team targeted organized crime and wanted felons, Hestrin said.
Nineteen teams from local, sate and federal agencies made arrests at 65 locations in Riverside county, San Bernardino County and Los Angeles counties.
"The biggest thing is we need to get drugs, guns and criminal off the streets," Hestrin said.
Beaumont Police Chief Sean Thuilliez said he had volunteers from his department, as well as patrol officers, multiple enforcement, the detective bureau and the public information officer working hundreds of hours on this investigation.
"I'm so proud of the dedication of the men and women of the Gang Impact Team," Thuilliez said.
Banning Police Chief Matthew Hamner said that criminals in the pass area will learn from this investigation that they are not above the law.
"We're not going to tolerate this kind of behavior," Hamner said.
Twenty-four more arrests were made on Wednesday, Hestrin said. A Huntington Park man was arrested for possession of an Uzi, handguns and methamphetamine.
Read the full story in the November. 29 edition of The Record Gazette.