Police Sweep Takes Aim at Two Rival Street Gangs : Crime: Four are arrested and several weapons are seized. Police say they didn’t find as much evidence as hoped.


Law enforcement officers from 14 agencies in Orange and San Bernardino counties served 31 search warrants Monday morning in an effort to stem growing violence between two rival street gangs, officials said.

Four people were arrested and several weapons were seized, Westminster Police Detective Mark Nye said.

In terms of evidence, Nye said the raids produced “less than we had hoped.” Police had hoped to seize firearms that might have been used in the increasingly bloody rivalry between the two gangs, which center their activity primarily in Westminster and Garden Grove.


But police did find evidence that should lead to several more arrests in coming weeks, Nye said.

The raids were “a success in that we sent a message to these guys that this is not going to be tolerated in Orange County,” he said.

After an hourlong briefing at 6 a.m., 80 law enforcement officers began serving the warrants in Westminster, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Orange, Huntington Beach and three cities in San Bernardino County, Nye said. SWAT teams were used at about 10 locations.

A series of gang incidents has left two people dead, one in Westminster and the other in Santa Ana, and three others wounded since January, Nye said. Police have made arrests in only one of the killings.

The four people arrested in Monday’s raids include Vu Quach, 18, of Garden Grove, on suspicion of having stolen property, and Minh Do, 18, of Rialto, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a shooting last December.

Police also arrested an unidentified man on an outstanding arrest warrant and a 15-year-old boy for parole violations.


Garden Grove police investigator Bruce Davis said the two gangs have been responsible for at least 20 shootings throughout Orange County since 1993.

“I think we’ll stem some of the tide, but we hoped to get more weapons than we did,” Davis said.

Police seized two handguns and three rifles and gang paraphernalia, including letters and photos, which probably will lead to further warrants, Nye said.

“Hopefully, those letters that we seized will indicate what’s been going on on the streets,” Nye said.

The raids constituted one of the most sweeping anti-gang operations ever in Orange County, Westminster Police Lt. Larry Woessner said.

Woessner, who oversees Westminster’s gang unit, said officials probably will have more of these large-scale operations in the future, especially as violence increases.


“There’s going to be consequences for those participating in these activities,” Woessner said.

Nye added: “If they want to continue this type of activity, they can expect a SWAT team at their door.”

The raids were unusual in that they targeted members of rival gangs at the same time, said David LaBahn, a deputy district attorney for Orange County assigned to the Westminster police gang unit.

“They’re shooting at each other, and we want to get them both at the same time,” LaBahn said. “It shows they haven’t learned. The gang mentality continues.”