SAN JOSE – Gang suppression goals have been put in place this week by the San Jose Police Department by Acting Chief Larry Esquivel. The goal of the department is to reduce or end the raising homicide rate in San Jose, California.
Within the past few weeks, the San Jose Homicide Unit has contacted and arrested seven individuals who were involved in a gang-related stabbing death which ended in the fatalities of two people. An arrest earlier this week by the San Jose Police Department netted three suspects in the stabbing death of 56-year-old Gregorio Ogana. The San Jose Police Department’s Covert Response Unit arrested 21-year-old Robert Alvarez, 24-year- old Cassandra Reyes, and 17-year-old Christopher Madrigal (who is being charged as an adult).
According an official press release three suspects were arrested in the June 13th homicide that occurred in the 100 block Checkers Drive in East San Jose. Ogana was found with life-threatening stab wounds in front of his San Jose residence. San Jose police investigators believe that the motive behind the attack was gang-related. It is believed that at the time of the attack, the trio was trying to rob Ogana. In a brief struggle with the suspects, Ogana was severely stabbed and had eventually died from his wounds.
The three suspects briefly appeared in the Santa Clara Superior Court on Tuesday for a brief bail hearing. According to Albert Morales with the San Jose Police, “Homicide detectives determined the murder was gang-motivated. In addition, detectives concluded the suspects murdered the victim during the commission of a robbery.”
Earlier this year, the San Jose PD reported an attack that involved four other individuals who had been arrested for the January 24, 2013 killing of 44-year-old Donald Harvey near the 100 block of Southside drive in San Jose. This was San Jose’s third homicide of the year. Suspects 20-year-old Enrique Martinez, 18-year-old Ceasar Torres and 27-year-old Joel Madrigal, with a fourth 17-year-old suspect in the custody of the Santa Clara Juvenile Hall, are currently in the custody of the Sheriff’s Department as a result of Harvey’s murder. According to the police report, “Preliminary investigation has revealed that 4-to-5 suspects attacked the victim, and at least one of the suspects stabbed the victim.”
The San Jose Police Department has responded to the increased gang violence with the addition of 40 – 45 officers being assigned to known gang hot spot areas throughout the city. The goal of the department is to saturate the area with a known police presence in order to help reduce and or eliminate the threat of increased gang violence, due to drugs, robbery and other violent crimes.
Sgt. Jason Dwyer with the SJPD reports, “The primary focus of this unit will be to conduct high visibility suppression and interdiction of criminal street gang activity throughout our City.”
According to the report, active components to the action will result in:
- Ongoing gang/crime intelligence information sharing with patrol personnel so officers are better prepared when patrolling their respective patrol beats;
- Deployment of Gang Investigation Unit detectives to supplement the uniformed officer presence;
- Collaborative information sharing with the Mayors Gang Prevention Task Force Staff, and
- data-driven, strategic deployment plan that emphasizes a focus on hot spot areas and known gang neighborhoods.
The high visibility in crime within the last few months has resulted in a crack down on gangs living throughout unincorporated Gilroy, South County, and Santa Clara County areas. With a new vision and plan of attack to end gang violence within the community, the homicide rate is expected to decrease within these high visibility areas.