CDCR parole agents were front and center last month in wrapping up a multi-agency operation that culminated a bloody years-long war involving individuals with alleged ties to two rival street gangs.
Parole agents with the Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) were among those involved in “Operation Promise,” a coordinated federal, state and local law enforcement sweep that targeted gang members of the East Side Riva gang and the 1200 Blocc Crips in Riverside County that resulted in nearly 50 arrests.
“This operation is part of our larger effort to bring gang leaders, members and others who prey on our communities to justice,” said DAPO Director Robert Ambroselli. “There are a lot of innocent people being killed because of these gangs and their criminal activity who target anyone who enters their territory regardless of whether the individuals are affiliated with a gang.”
The effort came together as more than 650 officers from 34 agencies moved into the gang’s turf the morning of January 27 to make 50 arrests, including leaders of both gangs. The 16-months-long investigation was aimed at crippling gang hierarchy and cutting off its cash flow from drugs and weapons.
Confiscated in the sweep were 17 handguns, 16 rifles, one bulletproof vest, one Orange County Sheriff badge, three knives, armor-piercing bullets, two rattlesnakes, and two pounds of methamphetamine.
CDCR parole agents assisted in the simultaneous serving of more than 50 search warrants, assisting in searches of more than 100 parolees and probationers, and assisted at the command post in placing parole holds and verifying information on parolees.
Four parolees were placed in custody for violations and taken directly to the California Institution for Men (CIM) by members of CDCR Transportation, who were also present during the operation.
Investigators spent many months with confidential informants and wiretapping suspects’ phones to compile evidence for the complaint. Riverside County District Attorney investigators worked with parole, Riverside Police gang detectives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
The East Side Riva gang regularly acted as a powerful arm of the Mexican Mafia, trafficking methamphetamine and protecting their turf with attacks on African-Americans and bystanders. One of those arrested was an accused “shot caller” for the Mexican Mafia’s Inland Empire interests, who had served time in prison for attempted murder. In addition to among those arrested were individuals suspected of being Number 1 and Number 2 in the Riva power structure.