8 more arrests in Omaha anti-gang sweep - Omaha.com
Published Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 12:00 am / Updated at 1:44 am
8 more arrests in Omaha anti-gang sweep

Federal authorities have charged an additional 12 people with crimes in a continuing anti-gang sweep in north Omaha.

As of late Friday, eight of the 12 were in custody, police said.

The latest charged in the investigation known as Operation Wipe It Down are accused of firearms trafficking, illegal possession of firearms and drug trafficking, among other charges.

The nearly 10-month investigation has targeted Omaha gang members and their associates.

In September, 18 men and women were arrested in what Police Chief Todd Schmaderer called the first phase of the operation.

The chief said Friday that some of the people arrested or sought are suspected in some of the city's recent shootings.

Authorities said the arrests have now taken a total of 62 guns off the streets and led to the seizure of about 1 pounds of marijuana and about 310 grams of crack cocaine.

The 12 people charged in the second phase have a combined 21 felony and 31 misdemeanor convictions and 69 previous arrests.

Authorities declined to say where the latest arrests occurred. More than 30 officers executed arrest warrants this week.

Schmaderer declined to name the specific gangs involved, but he said those named in the investigation have ties to gangs in north Omaha neighborhoods. More gang members could be identified as the operation continues.

“At any time the Omaha Police Department may have another operation under a different name, or we may continue the phase of Wipe It Down,” Schmaderer said. “We're always going to make it a priority.”

The investigation was jointly conducted by police, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The suspected gang members face federal and local charges.

U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg said the investigation would continue “until the plague of gangs, guns and violence is eradicated from our community.”

Many of those wanted or arrested face mandatory sentences of five to 40 years, authorities said.

Last spring, police and federal officials rounded up nine suspected leaders of the 40th Avenue Crips and the 29th Street Gang as part of Operation Purple Haze. All nine remain in custody and are awaiting trial on drug and gun charges.

“I want the citizens of Omaha to know that we are doing this for the community in an attempt to make the city safer from gangs and gun violence,” Schmaderer said. “The Omaha Police Department will continue to make gang and gun violence a focus as long as it is a present element in our city.”

The eight arrested this week:

Tracy Johnson, 23; Fabian Jones, 26; Cynethia Liggins, 24; Damon Phillip, 25; Darell Richards, 23; Jarez Wilson, 23; Troy Carlton, 39; and John Ezell, 31, all of Omaha.

Contact the writer: Maggie O'Brien

maggie.o'brien@owh.com    |   402-444-3100    |  

Maggie is a cops and breaking news reporter for Omaha.com.

Last day of 2014 Legislature: Praise, passage of a last few bills and more on mountain lions
A recap of what got done — and what didn't — in the 2014 legislative session
PAC funded by Senate candidate Ben Sasse's great-uncle releases Shane Osborn attack ad
Teen killed at Gallagher Park was shot in head as he sat in SUV, friend who was wounded says
When judge asks, Nikko Jenkins says ‘I killed them’
New UNO center strengthens ties between campus, community
Threat found in Millard West bathroom deemed 'not credible'
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
Nebrasks health officials to advertise jobs via drive-thru
Coral Walker named Omaha police officer of the year
'The war is not over,' Chambers says, but legislative session about is
Sarah Palin, Mike Lee coming to Nebraska for Ben Sasse rally
Prescription drug drop-off is April 26
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Rather than doing $250K in repairs, owner who lives in lot behind 94-year-old house in Dundee razes it
NB 30th Street lane closed
State Patrol, Omaha police conduct vehicle inspections
Bernie Kanger formally promoted to Omaha fire chief
U.S. House incumbents have deeper pockets than their challengers
Nancy's Almanac, April 17, 2014: Trees save money
Ex-Iowan behind landmark free speech case recounts story in Bellevue
Gov. Heineman signs water bill; sponsor calls it 'landmark legislation'
Senate candidate Shane Osborn to include anti-tax activist Norquist in telephone town hall
Kelly: New $24M UNO center embodies spirit of newlywed crash victim
High school slam poets don't just recite verses, 'they leave their hearts beating on the stage'
< >
Kelly: Creighton's McDermotts put good faces on an Omaha tradition
A comical roast Wednesday night in Omaha brought fans of Creighton basketball laughter by the bucketful. This time it was McJokes, not McBuckets, that entertained the Bluejay crowd.
Breaking Brad: At least my kid never got stuck inside a claw machine
We need a new rule in Lincoln. If your kid is discovered inside the claw machine at a bowling alley, you are forever barred from being nominated for "Mother of the Year."
Breaking Brad: How many MECA board members can we put in a luxury suite?
As a stunt at the Blue Man Group show, MECA board members are going to see how many people they can stuff into one luxury suite.
Kelly: New $24M UNO center embodies spirit of newlywed crash victim
Jessica Lutton Bedient was killed by a drunken driver at age 26 in 2010. Thursday, the widowed husband and other family members will gather with others at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to dedicate a permanent memorial to Jessica.
Breaking Brad: How much would you pay for a corn dog?
The Arizona Diamondbacks have a new concession item: a $25 corn dog. For that kind of money, it should be stuffed with Bitcoin.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Dr. Welbes Natural Health Clinic
$129 for 2 LipoLaser Sessions with Additional Complimentary Services ($605 value)
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »