DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. - Law enforcement blanketed Desert Hot Springs Tuesday morning for a sweep they're calling, "Operation Nemesis."
More than 100 law enforcement officers from the DHS Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Border Patrol, and the Riverside County Sheriff's Department among other agencies, visited and/or searched nearly 50 residences.
"Basically what we did was we targeted gang members who are out on probation and parole who are causing us grief," Desert Hot Springs Police Department Commander, Dan Bressler said. "We started with them, and then we also served some arrest warrants and some probation and parole searches on people who had gotten out of custody just to make sure they're in compliance with their terms."
Unannounced visits were made to houses, apartments, and hotel rooms where parolees were known to be staying.
Jasper Brooks stepped out of his room and witnessed an arrest at the Ambassador Hotel.
"They had a young man sitting on the ground," Brooks said. "I think they got him with a gun."
That was one of 17 arrests made from 6:30 in the morning until just before noon when the sweep ended.
"We found persons in possession of methamphetamine," Bressler said. "We found, I believe, two or three handguns. We found one felon in possession of ammunition. Just a variety of different charges. We had some for receiving stolen property. For theft. Those types of things."
Most of the 15 arrests were on felony charges. Authorities are calling Operation Nemesis a success.
"We hit about 50 places," Bressler said. "There were no incidents. Everybody was basically cooperative. There were no incidents and they know that we're out there."
Authorities say the coordinated effort was made to address problems caused by the early release of inmates - many of them gang members - from over crowded prisons.