SAN JOSE – District Attorney Jeff Rosen along with a dozen other State Prison and local enforcement officials unveiled this week a 77-count grand jury indictment that led to the arrest of the 38 woman and 10 men throughout Santa Clara County. The announcement came just days after what the county is calling the largest gang prosecution case of the prison gang, the “Nuestra Familia” or NF, which originated from Northern California.
The indictment counts include assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit a crime, armed bank robbery, witness intimidation, false imprisonment, criminal threats, drug trafficking, illegal possession of firearms, attempted murder and murder.
NF members sold methamphetamine and cocaine in order to finance their operations. Six members are charged with robbing banks in San Jose from 2011 – 2012, in which the members used fake explosives to intimidate bank tellers.
Alberto Jose Larez,44 gave the order to three suspects Josef Ryan Oakes, 24, , Angel Martinez, 30 and Ruben Cruz,21 to shoot and kill Martin Chacon as he sat in his car along a San Jose street in August of 2012. The shooting death of Chacon ended one of San Jose’s bloodies weeks resulting in nine deaths. San Jose has become a hot spot for gang activity, as gang members are increasingly seeking to gain numbers
Gang leaders from prison sought associates throughout Gilroy, Campbell, San Jose and the greater Santa Clara County. NF gang leaders ran operations from the Salinas Valley State Prisons, recruiting low level gang members and their associates.
A task force for local and regional gang units called “Operation Royal Flush” was started in 2010 by the Santa Clara Department of Correction’s Gang Intelligence Unit, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at Corcoran and Salinas Valley State Prisons, the Campbell, Gilroy, San Jose Police Departments with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.
The operation is still ongoing with the latest arrest of Mario Soria, in order to help curb growing numbers of gang members. Special service units out of the Santa Clara, Los Gatos and Mountain View Police Departments along with the Drug Enforcement Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation, San Francisco will continue to find and arrest known members in order to put a stop to the gang by encouraging a “drop-out” attitude, to help prevent others from joining their gang.
The City of Gilroy arrested 36 individuals associated with the NF gang, causing gang associated crimes to plummet. Rosen said, “Similarly positive efforts against the NF by the law enforcement community in Campbell Gilroy, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Santa Clara, State Parole Office and law enforcement partners were necessary to make this case.”
The indictment is in correlation with the hopes of keeping youth out of such gangs, while building community-based centers to help foster youth programs. The goal of each department is to help keep youth of these gangs. Police Chief Greg Finch of the Campbell police department said, “We are extremely proud with these changes we brought forward.” Officers within the department worked tirelessly to bring the case into collaboration with the DA’s office. Finch said, “We must remain steadfast in our never ending pursuit of justice.”
Rosen said, “The indictment response was due to on-going investigation that has lasted more than three years.” The intuitive was started to help reduce, and or eliminate gang violence in an effort to prevent an escalation of gang activity during the summer months when kids are out from school and most vulnerable to predation.
The Santa Clara DA’s office in collaborative efforts with the locale and county officials donated $50,000 dollars to locally based community youth centers to help keep kids safe from gangs. The money donated came from an assets forfeiture program that results in the money being taken during drug arrests and other illegal activities by law enforcement agencies.
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