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17 Sikh gangsters arrested in California crackdown, 41 guns seized

California Attorney General Rob Bonta along with police and Sutter County officials (Pic Courtesy Facebook/Attorney General Rob Bonta)

The authorities in the US state of California have arrested 17 gangsters belonging mainly to Sikh groups that are alleged to be responsible for numerous violent crimes and shootings and seized 41 firearms from them, said Attorney General Rob Bonta.

Members of these Sikh groups were allegedly involved in a mass shooting at a Stockton Sikh temple which occurred on August 27, 2022, and a shooting at a Sacramento Sikh temple on March 23, 2023. During the investigation, law enforcement was able to prevent two additional shootings from occurring, it was stated in a press statement issued by the Attorney General’s office.

Two of the people arrested are mafia members who are “wanted on a number of murders” in India, a PTI report cited Sutter County District Attorney Jennifer Duprea as saying at a news conference.

“The joint law enforcement effort, which culminated yesterday in a large-scale operation with agents executing search warrants at 20 locations, also resulted in the seizure of 41 firearms,” the press statement added.

The months-long investigation, known as Operation Broken Sword, focused on two warring factions of a criminal syndicate involved in a range of illicit activities from firearms dealing to violent crimes,” according to a report in The Sacramento Bee.

The investigation began in February 2023, as part of a cooperative effort with the Yuba Sutter Narcotic and Gang Enforcement Task Force (NET-5), Yuba City Police Department, California Department of Justice (DOJ) Special Operations Unit, California Highway Patrol (CHP) Special Operations Unit, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Sutter County District Attorney’s Office, the statement added.

As a result of this joint law enforcement effort, we’re taking guns off the street and putting suspected gang members and their associates behind bars, said Attorney General Rob Bonta.

“No family should ever have to worry about drive-by shootings or other forms of gun violence in the neighbourhoods where their children live and play,” he added.