16 Accused Violent Criminals Busted in Gang Sweep

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LORAIN, Ohio -- Lorain police on Friday conducted a sweep targeting a gang they say is responsible for violent crimes, from robbery to murder.
Sixteen people, including a juvenile, were rounded up by Lorain police and the Northeast Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force Friday. They are accused of being members of the M.O.B. street gang, which stands for Member of Bloods.

"All these guys have histories of being involved in shootings, home invasions, robberies, burglaries; all kind of violent crime," said Lt. Mark Carpentiere.

Lorain police say they are all violent, repeat offenders, and believe many of the men are involved in the nine out of the last 12 homicides in the city.

"It makes me feel a little safer, to get the drugs and everything off the streets," said Lorain resident Anthenette Mussell.

Mussell and her fiancé Sam Scalf say they have seen the gang problem grow in their west-side neighborhood.

"Back then the gangs were small, but now it's like they're unreal. They're everywhere; they're everywhere you go in Lorain. They're everywhere, and it's violence, more violence than anyone's ever seen. I mean, they've gotten a lot worse than what they used to be," said Scalf.

"I won't even walk to this corner store right here. I won't walk unless I have (Scalf), cause I'm afraid. My Uncle Roger lives two blocks down the road from me, and I'm afraid to walk to him in the morning, but I do," said Mussell.

"This little boy right here, he's definitely not a gang member. He's my niece's son," said Jackie Lewis, pointing to her great-nephew.

Lewis' 18-year-old son was murdered right in front of her home in 2009. Now her son, Kacy Thorps, is one of the suspects police arrested.

"He just did five years in jail. He's not gang related, affiliated with nothing. They just think when my son got shot and killed that he's just so angry. Half of them guys they got right here, they not even gang-related. They been knowing each other since they was little," she said.

"It's the first step of many steps that we're taking to rid that community of the criminal element," said Capt. Steven Schmittle.

The men are all charged with participating in a criminal gang and could face more charges.

Lorain police also say they expect to make more arrests.