The Fresno Police Department launching the effort after two gang-related shootings early July, one of which left a man dead, another leaving a 5-year-old boy shot through the chest.
How long those arrested stay in jail, or whether they stay in at all, depends on more factors.
Dozens of shots fired into a Fourth of July crowd, and a little boy shot.
Catalysts for a new gang crackdown across Fresno.
“We want to disrupt, we want to make sure the gang members know we’re out there,” Fresno Police Lt. Larry Bowlan said Monday.
Multiple search warrants, more than 130 probation and parole searches, 10 guns found, 40 felony arrests and 160 misdemeanor arrests.
Plus, 40 to 60 extra officers hitting the streets each night, targeting gang members.
“We want to keep them on their toes,” Bowlan said.
Those arrested, taken to jail.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office says, those entering, are asked questions like, “if in a gang, which one,” what their sexual orientation is, and whether they fear anyone in custody, to help safely place them.
Then, the Fresno County District Attorney decides whether they’ll be prosecuted, and how. State or federally.
“Potentially, the federal government may have a little bit more ability to face these guys down with some bigger charges,” Fresno defense attorney David Mugridge said.
Whether they stay in, also based on criminal history, like gun charges or gang association, or lack of.
Mugridge says, an old court order limits how many can be kept in custody.
“What they do is they take the, the most violent, the most serious cases, and they hold onto them,” Mugridge said. “And then they start looking at the people who are less serious cases, who are less of a threat to the public, and they start releasing to the public.”
Fresno police say, the operations have a quieting effect on the streets, and promise to use them whenever there are rampages.
“We will continue to keep up the enforcement, and use a very direct approach with these gang members,” Bowlan said.
Fresno police say the goal is keeping innocent victims safe.
If you see gang activity in your neighborhood, you can call the department and report that activity anonymously.