Cincinnati police hold major gang roundup

FBI, RENU join in show of force in West End

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati police and several other law enforcement agencies joined together Thursday to conduct a major gang roundup.

Officers launched the sweep early Thursday morning and commanders said it went off without a hitch.

In years past, when violent crime spikes, regular roundups help cut the offense rate.

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Tight budgets did away with many of those operations but the tactic was unleashed again Thursday.

Police officials said the message is that the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violent Crime (CIRV) is back.

Officers said they first made a stop at a house on York Street in the West End.

While a SWAT officer stood watch, the house was searched for a wanted suspect. He was found hiding deep inside the home but was arrested without incident.

SWAT broke into another home on Bitton Lane just minutes later. Police said it was barricaded shut but they were able to break through.

police conduct gang raid

A suspect was arrested at that site as well, as police issued a warning to others.

"If you persist, this is the result. We're going to come. We're going to do our job.  We're not going to come with tickets and misdemeanors. We're going to build a good criminal case and we're going to come and make it stick as an example to the perpetrator as well as anyone else who is thinking about those offenses,” Lt. Col. James Whalen said.

The charges levied against the suspects include drugs, weapons and assaults – many of those being armed assaults.

Chief Jeffrey Blackwell held a briefing on the operation Thursday to announce that citizens wouldn’t put up with violent crime any longer.

Blackwell said CIRV is very successful and is a model to other cities. He said the department and city leaders are continuing to develop new strategies to combat violent crime.

We take violent street crime very seriously," Blackwell said. "We want criminals to know that we won't wait for violence to spike when it warms up. We're starting now."

Whalen said the department wants people to know that if they get involved with guns and gangs, they will make themselves a target for police.

Officials said the operation was the result of four months of investigation. It began with the death of Dwayne Lamarr Lewis Jr.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office (RENU), the Federal Bureau of Investigation joined CPD during the operation.


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