Twenty-two individuals, most associated with the city’s Kaika Klan Outlaws gang, were arrested this week on state or federal charges.
Arrest warrants have been issued for nine others.
The 31 face an assortment of drug, weapons and criminal gang charges following the 18-month investigation.
About 150 agents from Akron police, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force participated in the arrests and the serving of five search warrants.
Attorneys with the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office assisted in drawing up the warrants and indictments.
Gang unit officer Rod Criss described the drug dealers primarily as “street-level” marketers, who concentrated on crack cocaine but also delved into powder cocaine and marijuana.
Police Chief Craig Gilbride said the group mostly sold crack cocaine on a large swath of the city’s East Side, intimidating residents and business owners to maintain control of the streets.
He said undercover police work involved hundreds of hours of surveillance and 50 purchases of drugs from 40 individuals. Gilbride said the arrest sweep was the department’s third in the area and the second aimed at Kaika Klan Outlaws.
He credited the arrests to Arlington Street residents, block watch groups, business owners and the partnership of county and federal authorities with his own department’s criminal gang unit.
“Let there be no mistake,” Gilbride told reporters during a news conference Wednesday, “we will continue to collaborate with our law-enforcement partners to an even greater degree to make our neighborhoods safe.”