Authorities in Yakima are on the hunt for wanted gang members. And today (June 15) Yakima Police reported that recent gang emphasis patrols have put 28 wanted criminal gang members behind bars.

During a new conference in front of the federal courthouse downtown, Yakima Police Chief Dominic Rizzi announced the arrests, which he says are a result of a combined effort by Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Yakima County Sheriff's office, US Marshals Service and the Washington State Department of Corrections.

The emphasis patrols were conducted May 30 through June 13. Rizzi says the partnerships will continue as the hunt for more wanted gang members in the community continues.

"We're unique in Yakima," the chief says. "I don't know of any other jurisdictions where so many law enforcement agencies can come together to work and achieve a common goal."
Rizzi says the during the emphasis patrols 54 people were arrested 28 of which were wanted gang members and associates. Authorities served 29 felony and 43 misdemeanor warrants and recovered 6 firearms.
Yakima Police Capt. Gary Jones says the cooperative effort between the Yakima Police Department, federal, state and county agencies will continue to reduce violent crime in the city of Yakima. He says the partnerships with federal agencies means some of those arrested could face federal charges and longer prison sentences if convicted. All the authorities agreed the patrols have helped reduce local crime and put pressure on local gangs. Police say the hunt for wanted gang members continues today.

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