November 25, 2014

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16 arrested in Lorain gang sweep

LORAIN — A gang crackdown netted 16 arrests Friday.

Police said many of those arrested are suspected of involvement in nine of the city’s last 12 homicides, although none has been charged in connection with those killings.

Targeted in the raid were members of the gang known as MOB or “Money Over (expletive)” or “Members of Blood.” The Lorain residents styled the gang after the notorious Bloods gang from California, but have no connection to that group, police said.

“We went after who we determined to be the most dangerous, influential members of this group,” Lorain police Lt. Mark Carpentiere said during a news conference Friday.

Of those arrested, 11 have been charged with participating in a criminal gang.

In order to charge the suspects with participating in a gang, the police and prosecutors must prove that the men have extensive criminal backgrounds and have ties to a gang. Each suspect faces two to eight years in prison for that charge, and other charges are expected.

Police said all those arrested are violent and repeat offenders, many of whom are out on bond on numerous felony cases.  The suspects have a total of more than 167 criminal convictions or current indictments. Many are suspected of murder, drug trafficking, aggravated trespass, intimidation and weapons violations, police said.

The arrests were made in cooperation with the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force and other law enforcement agencies. More arrests are expected.

Among those charged Friday were Kareem “Kill” Tucker, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison earlier this month for a July 2010 kidnapping and home invasion. Delno Clayton, who also was involved in the incident, is serving a six-year prison sentence in that same case. Clayton also faces charges in connection with the crackdown. Both men were already in custody.

In 2010, Lorain police conducted another crackdown on gang activity, which officials credited with cutting crime in the city.

Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer commended the Police Department during the press conference for its detective work leading to the latest sweep.

“It’s taken some time, a lot of effort and a lot of work,” he said.

Officers in the Criminal Investigations Division, Community Impact Unit and Patrol Division used computer analysis to identify the participants of the city’s most violent crimes during the seven-month investigation. Police said most gang activity occurred on the west side of Long Avenue.

A review of the data showed that MOB had a major role in violent crime in the city, said Police Chief Cel Rivera.

The suspects, all Lorain residents, were being held Lorain County Jail late Friday. They will be arraigned next week in Lorain County Common Pleas Court.

Reporter Evan Goodenow contributed to this article.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.