ADEL — Dozens of arrests were made in Cook County Thursday as several law-enforcement agencies worked to crack down on gang members, according to the Alapaha district attorney.
At about 6 a.m., Operation Clean Sweep began, according to a statement from Alapaha D.A. Dick Perryman's office. It was a joint law-enforcement operation with more than 100 officers from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, the Adel Police Department, the FBI Gang Task Force, the Department of Community Supervision, the Department of Corrections, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia State Patrol, the Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Sparks Police Department, the Cecil Police Department and the D.A.'s office, the statement said.
The purpose of the operation was to make contact with and conduct searches of subjects who are on probation and are known gang members or affiliated with gangs, according to the statement.
A total of 26 arrests were made, according to Perryman's office. Members of several criminal street gangs were arrested, including the Bloods, the Gangster Disciples, the Ghostface Gangsters and the Aryan Nation.
Charges against various individuals included illegal narcotics possession, multiple probation violations and possession of firearm by a convicted felon, the statement said.
“This joint operation in Cook County shows that we are serious about the safety of our citizens and the welfare of our community," Perryman said in the statement. "Gov. Brian Kemp came down to Cook County in May specifically to address the issue of criminal street gangs and his support was one of the driving forces behind this operation. Over 100 law-enforcement personnel started today very early with the sole purpose of improving the lives of the people of Cook County and South Georgia. We will not let criminal street gangs freely roam our streets.
"I must thank Cook County Sheriff Doug Hanks’ office and the Adel Police Department for all their efforts in making this operation a success. I am also sincerely grateful to the individuals of all the local, state and federal agencies that worked in this operation with us.”
Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.