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Six arrested in gang sweep
New task force vows to return
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Forsyth County News
Six people have been arrested in what authorities say was a sweep of suspected gang hangouts in Forsyth County.

The countywide search Thursday afternoon involved Forsyth and Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies who are members of the FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force, which has been operating since March.

Authorities with the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, also took part.

Authorities hit 35 of 60 targeted locations, said Sheriff’s Lt. Col. Gene Moss.

“We think we’re going to impact gang activity just as a result of our presence and our initiative at these locations,” said Moss, adding that the sweep will not be the last in the county.

“This is just the first phase of it and we'll be back,” he said.

Mike Nelson, who serves on the task force along with fellow Forsyth County Sheriff's deputy Stan Padgett, said the sweep was the result of a three-month-long investigation.

“We’ve been checking our databases for active, known gang members in the county,” Nelson said. “We’ve also been identifying those that have been coming into the county.”

Arrested on a variety of charges were: Edgar Barrera, Andres Garcia and Castro Guzman, all 18; Frank Ortiz Gallazo and Elizabeth Barrera, both 21; and Miguel Angel Landeros-Lora, 22.

Nelson said the suspects are connected with the gangs Sur 13, Gangster Disciples and Los Diablos. Some of those arrested likely will be deported.

In addition to the arrests, authorities found a gun at a residence in the Pine Ridge Mobile Home park. The home was on the task force’s list.

Padgett said the find is part of an ongoing investigation.

Various units of the sheriff’s office, including transport, warrants and K-9, as well as the department's aggressive response team, helped in the search.

E-mail Julie Arrington at