AUG 28 (RICHMOND, Calif.) –The Drug Enforcement Administration Oakland Resident Office in cooperation with the Richmond Police Department and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office arrested twenty-three members of a violent street gang based in Richmond, California. As a result of this four month long investigation, murders and violence in Richmond have declined, announced Acting Special Agent in Charge Bruce C. Balzano, Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus, and Contra Costa District Attorney Mark Petersen.
The investigation, codenamed “Operation Exodus” began in April 2013 and targeted suspected members of the criminal street gang known as “Deep-C.” With court authorized wiretaps investigators foiled gang members’ plans to retaliate and attack rival gang members in at least three separate instances.
“DEA is committed to protecting the community from violent criminal organizations like Deep-C. The cold, callous and reckless behavior of street gangs like Deep-C imperils the safety of all. We will assist our law enforcement partners and provide resources to prosecute those who endanger the honest and hard-working citizens of the Bay Area,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Bruce Balzano.
The Contra Costa District Attorney filed conspiracy to commit murder charges against twelve defendants; against the others charges for possession of firearms, distribution of controlled substances and illegal gang activity were filed. Seventeen handguns, $11,400 in US currency and more than 900 grams of Promethazine with Codeine were seized.
Highlights of the criminal activity uncovered during this investigation include the three following events:
In June, evidence revealed gang members had been involved in a shooting on Westbound Interstate 80 in the City of Richmond. Based upon this information, officers executed a search warrant, recovered the weapon used in that shooting from a residence and arrested two suspects.
In July, investigators overheard that three suspects intending to kill a rival gang member were going to a house where they would arm themselves. Investigators arrested three suspects and then executed a search warrant at a residence where they seized two handguns.
In mid-July, investigators learned that four Deep-C members had been shot by rival gang members. Intending to retaliate, four Deep-C members acquired three handguns and a vehicle. After a pursuit in which these suspects discarded their weapons on the highway, officers took significant measures to stop the vehicle and arrested the suspects.