FREEPORT - The FBI and Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice have announced the largest gang takedown in county history.
Officials announced the arrests of 16 men who are allegedly part of the Crips gang called "Rollin' 60's." The gang is accused of violently terrorizing neighborhoods and selling guns and drugs on the streets.
"They were everywhere," Rice said. "They ran the show. People were afraid of them, they intimidated witnesses, they made it hard for law enforcement to build cases against them."
The district attorney's office says most of the gang members were arrested in Freeport, Roosevelt and Hempstead.
Police say the yearlong investigation into the gang started when gang member Michael Benitez shot a Hempstead police officer in December 2011.
Since that incident, the FBI, state and local law enforcement agencies say they learned from a witness that members of the gang were selling guns out of the home of gang leader Raphael "Gusto" Osborne, of Roosevelt.
Authorities say that two more gang arrests will come soon. Most of the gang members are facing serious charges, such as attempted murder, gun possession and robbery. The district attorney's office says the suspects will most likely face maximum sentences.