LA
08/18/2011 12:22 pm ET | Updated Oct 18, 2011

Asian Gang Bust In Long Beach: 17 Arrested

A four month investigation across four different police departments resulted in the bust of an Asian super-gang -- five gangs that had teamed up to carry out "lucrative crimes," according to a statement released by the Long Beach Police Department.

In all, 17 people who span at least five different allied and rival gangs were arrested. Six handguns and quantities of methamphetamine, ecstasy and marijuana were recovered. Fake identity profiles, forged checks, cash, luxury watches, and computers were also seized. The people arrested and evidence recovered spanned 47 locations across both Los Angeles County and Orange County.

Rico Fernandez of the Long Beach Police Department told CBS Los Angeles that the group may be involved in several home invasions and thefts in Long Beach and Orange County. CBS also notes that most of the suspects are described as Cambodian.

Police chief Jim McDonnell warns Belmont Shore-Naples Patch that there's a heightened level of danger to the community based on "the new ways these gangs are operating." From Patch:

These gangs know no borders. They will go wherever they feel is (the) opportunity to do what they want to do, which is to make money at the expense of others... It’s unusual to see gangs involved in such widespread criminal activity … It’s unusual to see the level of specialization. We have rival gangs coming together for the purpose of the criminal enterprise.

Those arrested face felony charges of possession of stolen property, elder abuse, possession of narcotics for sales, identity theft, and forgery-fraud. Some also face charges for outstanding warrants and probation and parole violations.