FRESNO, Calif. - Several gang members in Fresno were arrested on Wednesday morning as part of a large multi-agency gang sweep operation. Close to 200 officers were involved, from the Fresno Police Department, the Clovis Police Department, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Federal agents from the ATF and Homeland Security were involved in the operation.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said it all stemmed from a liquor store shooting from this past July. He said two rival gangs fired at each other, but no one was actually shot. Dyer said that is how the operation to arrest several of the gang members involved began.
Dyer said they hit up 15 locations, in the hopes of arresting 16 gang members. They nabbed four, with many more are still wanted.
"Those individuals were wanted for felon in possession of firearms, violation of probation, the violation of parole, as well as one individual that was wanted for attempted murder out of Woodland, California," stated Dyer.
The various SWAT team members served search warrants to 15 locations in the southeast, southwest, and central parts of Fresno, and one location in Clovis.
Dyer said, "We did have one footchase, we had one location on Abby where two individuals refused to come outside of the business, and the SWAT team had to make entry and arrest those two."
The chief said they retrieved six guns. He said more than half of them are stolen.
Local gang interventionist Anthony Ortiz Jr. said he's shocked at the surge in gang violence over the last year.
He commented, "Obviously seeing hundreds of officers coming in and suppressing areas, then that automatically that draws a red flag on how serious the activity is in the city."
Dyer said we can expect to see more operations like this in the coming year.
"We're getting back in the game, and doing these things more and more often, so we appreciate all the agencies," ended Dyer.
According to Dyer, there have been 507 shootings this year, and 55 homicides. Out of those homicides, 29 of them are gang related.