Police: Dover investigation leads to multiple arrests; over 100 suspected gang members identified
More than 100 suspected gang members were identified, after police say they completed a multi-agency investigation after a series of shootings, in Dover.
The Dover Police Department says on September 30, the department wrapped up a seven-week gang initiative with assistance from Delaware State Police, the Department of Correction, and ATF. According to the report, on May 26, Chief Marvin Mailey and Mayor Robin Christiansen called for a stop to the many shootings that were happening in the city. Police say 23 shootings happened before that date and seven more in the month of June. The previous year's total was apparently 40 shootings.
During the course of the their investigations, authorities learned that most of the shootings were gang related. DSP had reportedly been investigating gang-related activity in Dover area. In July, Dover Police report that a gang initiative task force was formed to combat gang violence in the city. During that time, investigators used specialized techniques and surveillance to investigate gang activities. As a result, police report that they identified 101 suspected gang members in and around the area, with 51 suspected of being involved in the "48 gang" and 39 suspected of being involved in the "WSG" (West Side Gang). Law enforcement says 28 people were officially validated as gang members.
Also during the investigation, officers say 55 people were arrested on 269 criminal charges, with 31 being known or suspected gang members. According to the report, a total of 17 firearms, 2,594 bags of heroin, 16 grams of crack cocaine, 442.8 grams of marijuana, and 56 MDMA pills were recovered. Authorities also apparently executed of ten search warrants at various locations in Dover. A least one weapon was reportedly linked to two shootings that happened in July.
In reference to the operation, Chief Marvin Mailey says, "The mission of this initiative was to identify, investigate, and target gang members in and around the City of Dover with a specific focus on the 48 and West Side Gangs that have affected our communities with their involvement in drugs and violent activity. While successful, this collaborative effort was just the beginning of our mission to stop violence in our city. I thank the Delaware State Police, Delaware Department of Correction, the ATF, and the men and women of the Dover Police Department for their hard work during this initiative. These law enforcement members knew this initiative would involve dealing with some of the most dangerous and violent criminals in our area, but never hesitated to when it came to making our mission a success and make our city safer."
47ABC will have the more on this investigation on the 47ABC News at 10:00 PM and 11:00 PM.