Worcester Police lassoed 16 gang members in a joint-investigation that came to a head on Tuesday.
Worcester Police, the Worcester Police Gang Unit teamed up with the State Police Gang Unit, the FBI and the DEA to take down a crew of crooks starting the summer.
“The Worcester police department aggressively targeted gun violence over the summer months after seeing a spike in shooting incidents throughout the city,” Police Chief Gary Gemme told MassLive Worcester. “We developed a number of strategies in collaboration with the Massachusetts State Police Gang Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Agency to address the problem and make our neighborhoods safer.”
The following people charged with a laundry list of gun related offenses: Daniel Grajales, 26; Michael Ruiz, 26; Steven Price, 19; George Russell, 18; Justin Hammond, 18, Jonathan Luciano, 21; Terrence Kenol, 18; Jeremiah Perez, 18, Christian Martinez, 20; Joshua Castro, 19; Christian Carasquillo, 18, a juvenile; Devonte Barnes, 19; and Patrice Bennet, 26 all from Worcester.
Also charged were Tamra Nicacio, 20, of Southbridge and Lewis Jennings, 24, of Northborough.
Two other Worcester men were brought to the U.S. District Court in Worcester on gun charges. Antwone Bennett, 21, and Darilton Matias, 21, were charged in two separate indictments with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.
According to the Worcester Telegram, Matias was arrested in August for having a KBI .380 semi-automatic handgun.
The Worcester Police have been actively stepping up their gang-related investigations following a summer that saw an uptick in shootings and gun violence.
The authorities recovered eight guns including high-capacity weapons.
“Today’s news is a perfect example of why the city prioritizes long-term investigations and behind-the-scenes work over more conspicuous quick-fixes, which may make us feel better but don’t actually make the residents of Worcester any safer,” Mayor Joseph Petty said in a statement.