AIKEN COUNTY, SC (WRDW/WAGT) - “We’re coming for you.”
That was the word from state, federal, and local law enforcement officials Tuesday as they announced 26 unsealed federal indictments for gang-related crimes in a two-state dragnet. Those 26 indictments, officials said, were merely the tip of the iceberg and more arrests are planned.
"There will definitely be more arrests," one official said. "If we didn't get you today, we're coming for you again."
The 2:30 p.m. news conference brought together sheriffs, federal agents, and state attorneys from Georgia and South Carolina to discuss the operation that targeted several neighborhoods in the area over the past few days. On Tuesday, several of those neighborhoods were part of the raids.
But the message from law enforcement was clear: the violence has to stop and will stop by any means necessary.
“This is a message from our community that they’re tired of the violence,” Charles Baranco from the Aiken Department of Public Safety said. “This is for them.”
"Most important, it doesn't matter if you cross the border, we are willing to work together to stop this unnecessary violence going on in both our states," district attorney Natalie Paine said.
Among the targets in this dragnet included some of the most violent people in the area, officials said.
In all, over 150 law enforcement officials worked to bring in suspects related to a case involving the Bloods street gang in Aiken County that spilled into Richmond and Burke counties.
The operation focused on purging the CSRA of illegal weapons and drugs.
The investigation is ongoing. You can watch the full press conference below.