The Fresno Bee, 4/21/16 reports on the arrests of 28 purported members of Fresno's Dog Pound gang on a variety of federal charges, including racketeering, pimping, identity theft, fraud, and conspiracy to commit murder:
A multi-agency gang sweep that Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer called “the largest and most impactful gang operation in this city’s history” resulted in the arrests of more than two dozen people, including leaders of one of Fresno’s most notorious gangs.
“These men had people in the streets hunting for rivals to shoot every hour of every day,” Dyer said. “This is going to be a much safer place.”
In all, 28 people – most identified as leaders of the Dog Pound Gang – were arrested Thursday in the sweep, Dyer said at a news conference. More than 400 law enforcement officers from various local, state and federal agencies participated
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A variety of charges were filed in federal court Thursday.
Ten of the suspects will face conspiracy to commit murder charges.
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James York, 39, was identified by Dyer as the top target of the sweep. He is believed to be the leader of the gang and was involved in both the shooting plots and the prostitution. He was also charged with sex trafficking a minor, a 17-year-old girl who has since been put into foster care.
Some of the arrests center around prostitution operations that originated in Fresno and ballooned out into five states and Washington, D.C. Dyer said that at least eight of the gang leaders were recruiting young women in Fresno – often runaways – through social media and other means before sending them throughout the country.
York and the other leaders arrested Thursday are believed to have managed the gang for more than a decade.
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The three men charged as pimps are believed to have brought in at least $30,000 per week from the eight or nine prostitutes each supervised.
Dyer said none of the prostitutes will be charged, as they’re considered victims. Some were lured with promises of a better life, but all were eventually coerced by the violent gang leaders. Breaking the Chains, a local support group for sex trafficking victims, and other similar groups were called in to help these women.
Two employees at the Ambassador Inn & Suites at 1804 W. Olive Ave. and one employee from Summerfield Inn at 6309 N. Blackstone Ave. were arrested for helping the pimps by providing regular rooms for prostitution.
Fresno County Assistant District Attorney Steve Wright said his office could also file charges in Fresno County Superior Court.
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Other charges against the gang leader included fraud, identity theft, and racketeering.