Gang Sweep Nets Arrests Across State

SPOKANE — Local and Federal authorities raided several homes in the Spokane area and arrested 20 gang members and associates of the Crips and Gangster Disciples.

“To the gangsters: Spokane is not the place to be,” US Attorney Jim McDevitt said as a word of warning to gangsters operating in Spokane. “To the community: This underscores the gang issue and the gang problem.”

A grand jury indictment unsealed Tuesday named 24 federal defendants who were charged with more than 40 crimes that ranged from drug possession and distribution to possession of firearms and promotion of prostitution involving minor children.

The gang sweep targeted defendants in Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane and resulted in 20 arrests in the Spokane area and four arrests in Seattle and Tacoma. The persons arrests in the gang sweep Wednesday were identified as:

1. Coby C. Adams, age 302. Michael Bernard, age 393. Amy M. Bevers, age 294. Robert Brown, age 295. Micheal D. Charles, age 236. Micheal J. Charles, age 307. Marcus S. Dansby, age 258. Roland W. Finney, age 339. Nehemiah W. Fowlkes, age 2710. Shelana L. Gardner, age 2211. Marc George, age 3112. Sherard W. Henderson, age 3513. Jeremiah Jones, age 3014. Anthony Lawrence, age 3715. Jabari M. McCaskill, age 2516. Wayne D. McDuffie, age 2917. Marquis Mitchell, age 3218. Samuel R. Pernell, age 2819. Patrick O. Sardin, age 3520. Vanessa L. Seavers, age 2021. Carol Solomon, age 3122. Corrine Stewart, age 2223. Jakekeyeda Q. Walker, age 3324. Christopher M. Williams, age 24

Locally, law enforcement officers met first at Fairchild Air Force Base Tuesday before Operation Hybris, as this gang sweep was dubbed, kicked off. In the early morning hours Wednesday morning teams of law enforcement and SWAT officers executed search warrants at multiple locations around the Spokane area.

“We are going to do everything in our power to eliminate your power and your influence on our children and on our streets,” Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said. 

In the 300 block of East Wabash one eyewitness said she heard a loud crash coming from a home as  police knocked down the garage door at the residence. They later saw authorities handcuffing two people – a man and a woman – at a home located at 322 E. Wabash.

SWAT team members also hit 3723 E. Pacific around 7:30 Wednesday morning. Neighbors say three people were taken away in handcuffs from that location.

In the 1800 block of West 1st witnesses say they saw law enforcement agents busting down the front door of a home. They later observed the authorities taking boxes out of the house at 1803 W. 1st and searching a car inside the home’s garage.

“We are going to put your tail in jail,” Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick said. “We are going to make the city of Spokane the safest city of our size in the United States in five years. That’s our goal.”

There are about 40 cities in the U.S. that are about the same size as Spokane and right now the crime rate in Spokane puts the Lilac City in the middle of the pack.

Kirkpatrick says she’s implementing new strategies to reduce the crime rate and make Spokane the safest medium city in America.

With a limited number of officers she is putting cops in position to reduce the crime rate like staffing a gang unit and a drug unit. Kirkpatrick also says they’re creating an auto theft task force to work on the city’s car theft problem, which when combined with cracking down on gangs and the drug problem can lead to lower crime rates.

“Gangs is a problem that can take over a city and it’s a criminal enterprise, take somebody out in activity like this and your taking out several types of crimes,” Chief Kirkpatrick said.

The police department will be looking at the city’s crime stats every six months to evaluate if Spokane is making progress toward the goal of being the safety medium-sized city in America.

In all 175 law enforcement officers were involved in the local raids targeting gang members and associates of the Crips and Gangster Disciples. The operation involved multiple local and federal law enforcement agencies including the FBI, DEA, ATF, Department of Justice, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, and local police departments in Spokane, Spokane Valley and Cheney.

The Crips were founded in 1969 in the Los Angeles area as a primarily African-American gang that now reportedly has more than 30,000 members. The Gangster Disciples were formed in the 1960s in Chicago and has approximately 150,000 across the country.

The name of the Operation, Hybris, comes from the name of the Greek goddess of insolence, violence, wantonness, reckless pride and arrogance.