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Anti-gang operation leads to 126 arrests

On Oct. 8, federal authorities announced the arrest of over 120 California residents following a three-month gang enforcement campaign dubbed "Operation Triple Beam". The campaign took place in Fresno County.

According to a news conference led by the U.S. Marshals Service, around 50 or 60 officers from various federal, state and local law enforcement agencies targeted area gangs from July 1 until Sept. 30. During the operation, they arrested 126 people and seized unspecified amounts of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine. They also confiscated over $13,000 in cash and 61 firearms, including a "ghost" gun that had no serial number. "Ghost" guns are typically bought off the internet in pieces and later assembled into a whole weapon. Under federal law, such firearms are only legal if owners acquire and apply a unique serial number.

Operation Triple Beam was conducted by the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The Fresno Police Department, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office, the California Highway Patrol, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation also participated.

If convicted, individuals charged with federal crimes could face a number of harsh penalties, including decades in prison, years of probation, expensive fines and the seizure of certain assets. Because the situation is so serious, it might be necessary for them to contact a criminal defense attorney for representation. The attorney could review the case and explain all legal options available. One option might be to attempt to fight the charges in court, which could lead to an acquittal. Another option might be to negotiate a plea deal that lowers the charges.

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