DES MOINES, Iowa -- It was quite the wake-up call for Jennifer Garcia.
“I was awoken about 7:30 to a loud explosion,” she said.
Garcia started her day by watching several law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, raid the home right across the street.
“I saw there was a little bit of smoke and the street down here was blocked off, the street down there was blocked of. I was kind of shocked, they were actually new neighbors I think a couple of months ago, so we didn't really know them very well, but I guess we didn't expect that,” said Garcia.
Garcia lives on the 400 block of East Sheridan Avenue, one of 12 different locations police raided. Officers arrested 28-year-old Raylon Canada and a group of six individuals they say helped him sell marijuana and cocaine:
- Terikah Meiketia Mahaney, 26, of Des Moines
- Eric Elmont Bowman, 33, of Des Moines
- Michelle Lee Mireles, 39, of Des Moines
- Marvin Haygood Jr., 33, of Des Moines
- Katario Wade Patton, 48, of West Des Moines
- Joseph Manuel Jones, 47, of Des Moines
Police in Los Angeles arrested the group's alleged supplier. It was part of the effort to dismantle the C-Block gang. Police say residents will notice a difference.
“You'll see a lull. It's almost like there's going to be a little bit of a hangover in the criminal world while people kind of look over my shoulder and wonder if I'm next. They don’t know if the heat is still on, they don’t know who is doing what to investigate them and stop this stuff. So, you'll see a lull but pretty soon someone will rear their head again,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek.
Police say their work isn't over. They activated their special enforcement team, who helped in these cases, and will continue to work until the fall.
“Their purpose is to go out and seek out these criminals who are creating the majority of our problems in our city. They're about seven weeks into it so far. They've made over 100 arrests, over half of those are felony arrests. They've taken almost 20 guns off the street and they're just getting started,” said Parizek.
People like Garcia say they are thankful.
“I guess it's good and it makes me feel a little safer, I guess,” she said.
Parizek says more arrests related to these cases could come in the future.