Authorities Take Down Fresno Leaders of “Dog Pound Gangsters”
FRESNO – A year-long joint investigation by the California Department of Justice and the Fresno Police Department resulted in the arrest of 28 individuals associated with the Dog Pound Gangsters, a Fresno-area criminal organization.
Fresno Chief Jerry Dyer called the investigation, dubbed Operation Dog Track, “the largest and most impactful gang operation in this city’s history.”
The 28 people were arrested Thursday during a sweep on a range of federal charges, including conspiracy to commit murder, human trafficking, and fraud. Those arrested are expected to be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.
“Street gangs must be held accountable for terrorizing our communities,” Attorney General Kamala Harris said.
More than 400 law enforcement officers from various local, state, and federal agencies participated. About $50,000 in cash and 17 vehicles were seized in the operation.
Ten of the arrested suspects were charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Other arrests centered around prostitution operations that originated in Fresno and spread out into five states and Washington D.C. At least eight of the gang leaders were recruiting young women in Fresno through social media before sending them throughout the country, authorities said.
None of the prostitutes are going to be charged since they are considered victims, Dyer said.
Dyer said that James York, 39, was the top target of the sweep, since he is believed to be the leader of the gang and was involved in both shooting plots and prostitution. He was arrested and charged with sex trafficking a minor.
Other leaders of the gang were also arrested.
“Their leadership has been dismantled, and the gang was severely crippled,” Dyer said.
The Dog Pound Gang has about 200 members and was responsible for more shooting and violent activity than any other gang in Fresno, Dyer said.
Attorney General Harris thanked “the bravery and diligence of our Special Agents, the Fresno Police Department, and the other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies” who worked together “to dismantle criminal organizations and protect victims of trafficking and fraud throughout the Central Valley.”