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From robberies to murder, violent network neutralized
CINCINNATI (Deb Dixon) -- Cincinnati SWAT came knocking at some West End homes Thursday morning looking for what's left of a violent network police say is into everything from robberies and shootings to drugs and murder.
The Cincinnati's Initiative to Reduce Violence, or CIRV, targeted the gang after the October murder of a 14-year-old boy in South Fairmount. It turned out the accused killer, Julius White, was one of the top players in the gang. Investigators followed the violence and over four months arrested several other members of the gang.
During a news conference, LT Colonel James Whalen showed a video recorded by Sharonville Police after alleged gang member, Shamsudin Pickens, was arrested on domestic violence. In it he calls himself a, "real live gangster, a live wire, I don't go to jail for nothing."
He has been to jail before but he's also gotten out of trouble several times because of witness intimidation. The Sharonville statement was before Pickens was arrested in this investigation on a 9-count drug indictment. He's in jail. Bond is a million dollars.
Assistant Chief Whalen says Pickens is right up there with the most violent criminals the department has ever experienced. Mayor John Cranley said with the right resources and partners the police department can free neighborhoods of violence.
Partners in this investigation are numerous, including the Regional Narcotics Unit, Vice Squad, the Safe Streets Unit, the FBI and the department of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives.
ATF Agent Jim Deir said numerous weapons were confiscated during the investigation. He says they were tools of the trade used to terrorize communities. Some of the alleged gang members face federal weapons charges. In some cases the penalty could be life in prison.
Whalen said there are similar investigations going on right now in other neighborhoods.