Hawthorne police seize 26 weapons in gang raids

Police seized 26 guns, many of them banned assault weapons, during early morning gang raids Thursday in response to a series of shootings over the past year in Hawthorne, Gardena and Los Angeles.

Guns seized Thursday in Hawthorne police gang raids. Photo courtesy Hawthorne Police Department
Guns seized Thursday in Hawthorne police gang raids. Photo courtesy Hawthorne Police Department

Two men, including one suspected gang member, were arrested during the predawn raids at seven addresses in Gardena and Los Angeles, Hawthorne police Sgt. Larry Grajeda said.

The weapons included handguns, shotguns and assault rifles, along with 5,000 rounds of ammunition, Grajeda said.

Some of the weapons, which are illegal to possess in California, had been modified to make them fully automatic, Grajeda said.

The police operation involved more than 100 officers, including special weapons teams from Hawthorne, El Segundo, Torrance and Azusa, along with police officers from Hermosa Beach and Palos Verdes Estates, and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

The investigation stemmed from a string of shootings that began last November. The shootings were determined to involve the Shotgun Crips gang that operates in Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood and nearby unincorporated areas, police said.

The gunfire included a car-to-car shooting at El Segundo Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue where one person was wounded in the early summer, police said.

Most of the seized guns were found at one location in Gardena, police said.

“We definitely put a dent in the arsenal of that gang,” Grajeda said.

After recovering the weapons, detectives were checking serial numbers and the weapons to determine which are illegal and whether they were used in crimes.

Police identified one of the arrestees as Christian James Frankling, 25, of Gardena.

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