Eleven people are in custody and seven more are being sought as part of an effort to take gang members and illegal guns off Omaha streets.
Local and federal authorities announced Friday the results of a nine-month investigation that they said targeted some of north Omaha's most violent gangs. Dubbed "Operation Wipe it Down" – street slang for the illegal exchange of guns – the sweep took aim at known gang members and those who helped arm them with handguns, rifles and shotguns.
Authorities said they have taken 45 guns off the streets and seized more than a pound of marijuana and about 72 grams of crack cocaine.
The investigation was conducted by ATF agents, the U.S. Attorney's Office and Omaha police. It is the second major operation of the year targeting purported gang members.
Last spring, police and federal agents rounded up nine suspected gang leaders as part of "Operation Purple Haze." All nine remain in custody.
The latest sweep began Thursday. More than 50 police officers and federal agents executed search warrants in neighborhoods across the city, knocking on doors and making arrests. Authorities at this point declined to specify where those arrested were located.
* * * * *
Video: Task force press conference
Schmaderer: "This is only Wave One, but we can certainly deem it a success."— OWH Cops Reporters (@OWHCrime) September 27, 2013
Operation "Wipe it Down" 18 defendants have over 400 previous contacts with LEO's, 72 arrests, 15 felony & 49 misd convictions. #OPD via OP— Omaha Police Dept. (@omahapolice) September 27, 2013