In response to escalating gang violence, Santa Barbara city
police conducted searches on the homes of 29 suspected gang members
early Tuesday morning. One adult and two juveniles were arrested;
the adult was nabbed for possession of nine ounces of cocaine, a
.357 handgun, and a .22 rifle. The juveniles were arrested for
drugs and graffiti. “When you can show up in the homes of 29 gang
members all about the same time, that sends a pretty powerful
message,” said police spokesperson Lt. Paul McCaffrey. “And that’s
some pretty powerful deterrence.” In addition to the guns and
cocaine, McCaffrey said officers confiscated several short baseball
bats, crowbars, and other makeshift clubs. In recent weeks,
there’ve been a number of gang-related stabbings and fisticuffs,
each precipitating retaliatory actions. Police detectives attribute
the increase in gang-related violence to the recent release of
several older gang veterans from state prison.


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