An investigation led by the Multnomah County, Oregon, Sheriff's Office has resulted in multiple arrests, made after a six-month investigation called "Operation White Christmas" that targeted alleged white supremacist gang members and suspected drug and firearm traffickers. According to sources, 40 Oregon residents were indicted in federal court on drug and firearm charges.
The white supremacist gang was allegedly engaged in violence against their own members, robberies, home invasions or kidnapping to threaten witnesses. The gang was also accused of allegedly distributing methamphetamine, as well as firearms trafficking. Some suspects are charged with car thefts and theft of high-end bicycles and musical instruments.
Armed with 20 warrants, police said they searched several homes and apartments and confiscated 74 firearms, including handguns and long rifles, as well as some knives. They also seized violins, violas and cellos from a Portland apartment. While 19 of the accused await arraignment, several of the defendants have been identified as armed career criminals with previous prosecutions.
The officers said that the arrests made by Operation White Christmas had a significant impact on the leadership of these gangs in the area. The FBI-led Metro Gang Task Force, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive and several other agencies and probation officers were involved in the operation.
Federal crimes may carry serious penalties upon conviction because they are punishable by mandatory prison sentences and large fines. Whether federal charges involve white collar crimes or drug and weapons offenses, these allegations can badly effect a person's reputation, freedom and interests. However, Oregon residents accused of federal criminal acts can avoid serious penalties by challenging the charges. Under such circumstances, an aggressive and solid defense may protect the defendant from the more excessive charges and severe consequences.
Source: The Oregonian, "Operation White Christmas targets white supremacist gangs, authorities say," Maxine Bernstein, Dec. 9, 2013