Congresswoman Barbara Lee and a long list of other high-profile law enforcement players met Tuesday morning to announce the efforts of "Operation Gideon III," a multipronged push to take the biggest criminal organizations and robbery crews off the streets in Oakland.
As a result of the operation, officials said 60 suspects have been charged and one has entered a guilty plea. In addition, 92 firearms, three kilograms of methamphetamine, two kilograms of marijuana, one kilogram of heroin and a half kilogram of crack cocaine were confiscated.
Police Chief Howard Jordan said he requested the aid from many groups after three children were killed by gunfire in Oakland last year.
The effort was a collaboration of several agencies and many of its leaders were there: U.S. Attorney Melissa Haag, ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge Scot L. Thomasson, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.
“Operation Gideon is a model of collaboration and the targeted use of federal law enforcement resources to help a community badly in need,” Haag said. “Over the past several months, ATF agents from around the country have been working alongside dedicated OPD officers to identify and remove those people who are plaguing our community with guns and violence. A significant number of weapons have been taken off the streets, and some serious offenders have been introduced to the federal judicial system. Our work continues, but we hope what has been accomplished so far has put a dent in the scourge of violence affecting parts of Oakland.”
Jordan credited the operation with bringing down violent crime in the month of May. He said in April there were 91 shootings and that number had been cut in half in May. In April, there were 14 murders in Oakland and in May just five, he said.
Jordan said the operation has been in motion for 120 days, and has encompassed about 225 police actions. "This operation will continue indefinitely," he said.
At the conference, Lee said, "We've all been concerned at the number of illegal firearms on the streets of Oakland,'' adding that the residents "deserve safe and liveable conditions."