16 members of major Long Beach gang are arrested

More than a dozen members of a Long Beach gang have been arrested in connection with a series of shootings, including a 2009 killing, over a three-year span in the city, police said Wednesday.

Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell said the arrests of 16 members of the Baby Insane Crips are part of a push to reduce gang violence.

The gang gained notoriety in the 1980s and has been rooted in Long Beach for “generations,” according to the chief.

“They are a big gang in our city — our biggest — and one that’s responsible for a lot of our violent criminal activity,” he said.

The alleged ringleader was identified as Sabrille Acklin, 29. McDonnell said most of those arrested were booked on murder and burglary charges after being linked to 13 shootings in the city between Nov. 19, 2009 and Dec. 3, 2011.

The investigation stems from the death of Frank Castro in 2009. The 19-year-old was standing outside a Long Beach liquor store on the night of Nov. 19 when he was shot several times.

The case went unsolved until ballistics evidence linked three shootings. Detectives built cases against members of the Baby Insane Crips, including for Castro’s slaying, McDonnell said. During the investigation, 27 search warrants were served in Long Beach, Lynwood, San Pedro, Rialto, Perris and San Bernardino. At least 10 guns were seized.

Los Angeles County prosecutors have charged 22-year-old Johnney Smith in Castro’s killing. Smith is already serving time in county jail. McDonnell said the investigation is ongoing.