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[LS Tribune] Ghost Guns: Vespucci raid highlights the difficulties of keeping up with Los Santos' firearms black market


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Ghost Guns: Vespucci raid highlights the difficulties of keeping up with Los Santos' firearms black market

After a LSSD raid on a believed gang-affiliated property off Vespucci Beach returns a haul of untraceable 'ghost guns', we take a look at the efforts being made to keep illegal firearms out of the possession of local gangs

 

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By PHOEBE HOLTER

 


 

LOS SANTOS -  A noise complaint made by concerned local residents during what was believed to be a targeted burglary by a rival gang on a quiet apartment overlooking Goma Street led to a haul of ‘ghost guns’ being seized from the property by local law enforcement.

 

Los Santos’ perennial affliction with gang crime has a visible impact on almost every corner of the city and the busy back streets leading off the city’s famous beach make up one the Los Santos’ many hotspots of gang activity. The collapse of two notable Sureno gangs (Goma-13 and Vespucci-13) following targeted arrests made by the LSSD Operation Safe Streets gang unit brought the area some respite from gang related violence, but the recent break-in and subsequent firearms seizures has concerned authorities of what what has been described as a “resurgence” of gang activity in the area. 

 

“About a year ago, Vespucci was flooded with violence...  we, Operation Safe Streets, we put an end to those violent gangs by taking out their leadership.” - Det. Leroy Miles, LSSD OSS

 

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OSS personnel photographed outside of the Goma St. property

 

 

October’s raid on the apartment by local law enforcement marks just another in a line of properties targeted by authorities such as the LSSD as Los Santos struggles to get to grips with the worsening proliferation of illegal firearms in the city. 

 

Included in the haul were several handguns (including a TEC-9, H&K P2000 and a H&K P7) along with numerous boxes of ammunition.  “These could do some real damage on the streets” , said Det. Foster as the seized firearms were being displayed. “Lives are being saved here”.

 

But while there was room for celebration at successfully busting and interrupting gang activity, those at the scene such as LSSD OSS Sergeant Jonathan Medina, were upfront about the difficult realities they faced in keeping illegal firearms off the street, describing the haul as “just the tip of the iceberg”, 

 

“Job's never done, in the grand scope of things, this ain't even a dent, not even a scratch” explained Det. Leroy Miles. “I wouldn't even say it's a dink”. 

 

 

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Inside of the raided Goma St. apartment

 

 

Fuelling gang violence in the city is the increasing number of illegally obtained firearms which end up in the hands of gang members. Semi-automatic rifles such as AR-15s are often straw purchased out of state, modified and then distributed around local gangs. “Not too long ago, we had a shooting in South Central involving up to three automatic firearms, one being a long arm” described Det. Rameriez. “Those sorts of weapons are typically rifles taken out of state”. 

 

But Los Santos is facing a new trend in firearm trafficking which is also being felt nationwide: the proliferation of so called ‘ghost guns’. Ghost guns are partially assembled firearms that can be purchased as kits online, lacking a serial number and therefore being untraceable. These are often sold legally as “80% receivers”, where the final 20% of the lower receiver is all that is required to be added for it to be fully functionable, so long as you have the rest of the kit and can piece them together (typically the trigger mechanism, barrel, stock and upper receiver).

 

“We also got the eighty percenters, ghost guns that can be bought in pieces online, unserialized, untraceable and unregulated. The vast majority of firearms out there are ghost guns.” - Sgt. Jonathan Medina, LSSD OSS 

 

 

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Alternative angle in the apartment, photographed right: Detective Leroy Miles

 

The firearm kits enjoy a different level of legal scrutiny over the traditional routes, meaning those capable of sourcing the additional parts can essentially bypass existing restrictions in purchasing a firearm with the DIY kit. This is a key selling point for gangs, along with the absence of serial numbers.

 

"In my own experience? Gun violence, violence using automatic weaponry, that's only escalated in gang infested areas. They feel the need to escalate." - Det. Rameriez, OSS

 

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LSSD detectives outside of the apartment. Left to right:  Det. Burke, Det. L. Miles, Det. R. Foster, Det. A, Thomson, Sgt. J. Medina,  

 

As gang presence continues being an ever present issue in the city and certain areas (such as Vespucci Beach) are showing signs of resurgences of violence; the increasing presence of ghost guns is not at all welcome news to local law enforcement. “Intelligence, we've been building our arsenal by gathering information…” explained Detective Miles as he explained how the department can combat the current situation. “It's a walk, not a sprint”.

 

 

 

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The Los Santos Tribune is a product of LSNN.

 

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Username: Cheesecakefactory

Comment: "we put an end to those violent gangs by taking out their leadership.” yeah, the 20+ murders on a daily basis kinda shows that to be categorically incorrect, retard, the only thing you fuckwits are doing is making the violence even worse lmfao

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