Visalia gang members arrested as part of prison gang crackdown
VISALIA – More than 30 key members of the Nuestra Familia gang were arrested on Tuesday in and around Visalia as part of a multijurisdictional operation aimed at crippling the powerful prison gang.
Teams of federal, state and local law enforcement — including officers from the Visalia Police Department — picked up 34 alleged gang members as part of Operation Street Sweeper, according to the California Attorney General’s Office.
The arrests included four major local leaders of the criminal syndicate, officials said.
“Operation Street Sweeper represents a big step forward in reducing vicious street crimes orchestrated in prison by the Nuestra Familia hierarchy,” said Attorney General Jerry Brown. “Today’s operation has stripped the dangerous Nuestra Familia gang of key managers who carry out orders from its imprisoned leaders.”
Those arrested are alleged to be part of the Nuestra Familia prison gang, based out of Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City. Officials believe the street gang members take their orders from the imprisoned gang members who reach them by way of cell phone.
“In addition to arresting street gang leaders through efforts like Operation Street Sweeper, we must cut imprisoned gang leaders’ ability to communicate with cell phones by blocking that communication through an electronic net over Pelican Bay,” Brown said.