Operation Triple Beam Nabs 163 Suspected Oklahoma Gang Members

Wednesday, August 25th 2010, 11:53 am
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6 

TULSA, OK -- A joint law enforcement effort to target gangs, guns and drugs in Tulsa wrapped up Wednesday. Operation Triple Beam netted 163 arrests of suspected gang members and 46 firearms.

More than 40 law enforcement officers took part in Operation Triple Beam. The goal is to slow down the gang violence by putting the worst offenders behind bars and confiscating illegal guns.

There are basically four gangs causing trouble right now in Tulsa.

There's a long running feud between the Green Team and the Hoover Crips that started because one gang member looked at a rival member the wrong way. That feud has led to most of the shooting and killings we've seen in the past few months.

There is also a feud among a couple of the Hispanic gangs, the Surenos and the Juaritos.

Sergeant Sean Larkin heads up Tulsa's Organized Gang unit. He and dozens of city, state and federal officers served more than 50 warrants in two weeks in Operation Triple Beam.

"Each gang may have a group of 10-15 guys running together, but usually there's a handful of enforcers: two to three guys who are known for shootings, have that reputation on the streets, through law enforcement," Larkin said.

"Some that we arrested are those enforcers."

Start the slideshow

Some of the top arrests:

  • Christopher "Quartertop" Price, an alleged Hoover Crips gang member wanted for shooting with intent to kill and marijuana trafficking. He is also a person of interest in several unsolved homicides and shootings.
  • Miguel "Spider" Lopez, considered the leader of the South Land Wicked gang, who is wanted for delivery of a controlled drug.
  • Marquis Craven, wanted for possession of a firearm by a felon. Craven is said to be a member of the 4Duece gang.
  • Marquis "Pig" Smith, wanted on two counts of shooting with intent to kill.

In addition to arrests, this operation was about gathering intell: getting names, shooting pictures of tattoos, keeping up on who wants to kill whom and why - all of which will come in handy, next time violence erupts.

This was the first time this type of gang operation has been done and other cities now plan to copy it. Police say it won't be a one-time thing here. They'll keep doing it.

See Operation Triple Beam Results

About Tulsa gangs:

What you need to know about gangs in Tulsa - out of last year's 71 murders, only seven were gang related.

  • Innocent citizens are rarely shot or killed in gang violence.
  • These gangs don't fight over territory; it's usually a perceived insult or threat.
  • Gang initiations involving rapes, flashing headlights or baby car seats by the side of the road are myths.

In addition to the arrests, officers also seized $15,000 in cash, 167.5 grams of crack cocaine and 2,077.51 grams of marijuana.