(NECN: Alysha Palumbo - Boston) - It was a huge gang takedown throughout the city of Boston and beyond Thursday morning as law enforcement officials wrapped up nearly two years of investigative work by arresting 27 people in early morning raids as part of Operation Concord.
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said, “Today we are here to announce the dismantling of two Boston street gangs whose members have terrorized the community, intimidated witnesses and brought drugs and guns into our neighborhoods.”
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said the collaborative operation involved undercover buys, wiretaps and extensive surveillance, eventually leading to the undoing of the Woodward Avenue and Hendry Street gangs – including their leaders, 31-year-old Alexis Hidalgo and 29-year-old Jonathan DaSilva.
Officials say many of the alleged gang members could be tied to other violent crimes, especially in the Bowdoin-Geneva section of Dorchester and the Uphams Corner section of Roxbury.
They would then face additional state charges.
Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said, “As we’ve seen over and over again to terrible and tragic effect, that rivalry continues to claim bystanders, children, and other citizens with no stake in this drama.”
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis says this extensive investigation is ongoing, but he wants to assure residents this will lead to a reduction of violence in the city.
Commissioner Davis said, “We are confident today that these arrests send a message to others who will attempt to engage in violence and drug activity, we will be methodical and strategic, we will target you and we will take you off the streets of the city of Boston.”
The district attorney says this was an interstate drug network, stretching from as far west as California, as far north as Maine and as far south as Miami.
In all there were 30 arrest warrants and 12 search warrants executed Thursday morning.
One arrest was made in California, one arrest was made in Maine, 25 arrests were made in Massachusetts and one man remains on the run.
Commissioner Davis says he considers that man -- 30-year-old Jackson Barros of Dorchester -a fugitive and urges him to turn himself in.