LORAIN, Ohio - At least 19 alleged gang members in Lorain have been arrested in a sweep in connection with nine murders.
The law enforcement operation Friday targeted a gang called "M.O.B.," which stands for "Member of Bloods."
Police said the gang members were connected with murders, home invasions, attempted murders, robberies and an array of violent crimes.
"The guys are suspects in a lot of other crimes," Lorain Police Chief Cel Rivera said.
Investigators said the gang's primary source of money came from dealing drugs.
"Once we started looking at our data and looking at these people, what we found out there was a pattern here. That there was an existence of a group that over a series of years had committed many crimes," Rivera said. "We identified these individuals had committed 167 crimes and been convicted of them already."
Lorain police were joined by the SWAT team, US Marshals, K9 units and the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force. There were two sweeps conducted Friday.
"We went after what we determined to be the most dangerous, most influential members of this gang," Lorain Det. Mark Carpentiere said.
Officers said the M.O.B. is one of the most violent gangs in the area. Police said they will be charged with participating in a criminal gang, which is similar to the federal charge of racketeering.
It's not clear yet which murders police have connected to the gang.
Nearby residents were glad to hear of the arrests. "I'm happy because my grandchildren can go outside and we don't have to worry about the activity that goes around in the neighborhood," Michelle Wragg said. "I think what they did today is going to help a lot. I don't think it's going to take it all away, but I think it will take the majority of it away."