20 arrests made in Phoenix gang bust - CBS 5 - KPHO

20 arrests made in Phoenix gang bust

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The Phoenix Police Department held the news conference Friday morning. The Phoenix Police Department held the news conference Friday morning.
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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The City of Phoenix announced a major gang arrest Friday morning after a young man was murdered during a drug deal.

Police say they have been working on this operation for the last seven months and they've managed to make 20 arrests in the case. They're still looking for 15 more suspects.

The city is calling the investigation "Operation Step It Up." They said a young man by the name, Ricky Hernandez was killed in March during what they say was a drug deal gone bad.

From that point, police said there was a retaliation murder in the case. Police realized they were dealing with a gang situation and investigators knew they have to move fast before any more lives were lost. Through tips and detective work, they found some outstanding suspects and moved in.

"We did not want this to spin out of control and that is the exact purpose, why the name of this operation was "Step It Up" because there was a certain urgency to this, so that we wouldn't spin up a lot of this activity," Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Steve Martos said.

The 20 people who have been arrested face numerous charges which include murder, weapons misconduct, drug charges and money laundering.

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