11 Gang Members Arrested In Hillsborough

TAMPA — Operation Red Dawn started with a drive-by shooting, spawned a 10-month investigation and resulted in the arrest of 11 gang members, each facing at least 30 years in prison.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Plant City Police Department, completed the investigation Monday, arresting 11 primary Norteños gang members. Each faces racketeering charges for crimes including aggravated battery, robbery, aggravated assault and homicide.

In May and June of 2012, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office noticed a significant increase in gang-related violence in east Hillsborough, including a series of drive-by shootings in which one person was shot and wounded and survived. That victim was a gang member, and deputies suspected other gang members were involved.

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