OXNARD : Police Sweep Targets Rising Gang Violence

In response to increasing gang violence in Oxnard, police conducted a citywide sweep early Sunday, citing 23 juveniles on curfew violations and arresting a 20-year-old man on suspicion of illegally possessing a firearm.

During the four-hour sweep ending at 2 a.m. Sunday, which hit several locations throughout the city, police arrested Jermaine Johnson of Oxnard for possession of a 9-millimeter semiautomatic handgun.

"These sweeps let the gang members know that the police are there out keeping an eye on their activities," Oxnard Police Sgt. George Pultz said. "So they're very successful to that extent."

Police cited and released the 23 curfew violators and ticketed four of them for various traffic violations, officials said. Twenty-five other people were stopped, interviewed and released during the sweep.

Investigators said they conducted the sweep in response to escalating gang violence in Oxnard. In the past two weeks, there have been three drive-by shootings and one gang-related stabbing, according to police.

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