Crisis Response Teams from four prisons took part in the recent take-down of gang leaders in the Fresno area.

By OPEC staff

Multiple units from CDCR recently participated in a massive take-down of gang leadership in the greater Fresno area.

Dubbed “Operation Alpha Dog,” the Office of Correctional Safety’s Special Services Unit in Fresno participated in the investigation and also the takedown that involved local, state and federal agencies.

CRT teams from CDCR institutions joined forces with other local, state and federal agencies to help topple gang leaders during a major investigation that began in November 2016. The takedown of those leaders happened in Fresno in September 2017.

Started in November 2016, the operation involved more than 300 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Drug Enforcement Agency, Homeland Security Investigations, CDCR, FBI, Multiagency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC), Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Fresno County Probation Department, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The investigation looked into multiple Fresno Bulldog gang members and associates responsible for trafficking in firearms, controlled substances and engaging in prostitution. Through controlled buys and other sophisticated techniques, the investigative team developed sufficient evidence to wiretap multiple targets.

In June 2017, the investigative team began a joint federal and state wiretap investigation targeting Fresno Bulldog members Carlos Montano, Robin Gill, Filiberto Chavez, Nicholas Bolano and Ruben Puentes. The investigation was successful in identifying additional target subjects and led to the seizure of additional firearms and methamphetamine.

On Sept. 7, 2017, the take-down occurred in Fresno. During the take-down, Crisis Response Teams from Pleasant Valley and Avenal state prisons as well as Central California Women’s Facility and Valley State Prison participated along with CDCR K-9s and the Transportation Unit. Other units participating included Division of Adult Parole Operations’ California Parole Apprehension Team and the Fugitive Apprehension Team.

“Our mission was to serve search warrants, seize narcotics, drugs. Avenal and Pleasant Valley CRT had been assigned to our target residence (search warrant) which had been reported to have the main subject of the 32 arrested and would eventually have in custody,” said Lt. Mike Tuntakit, AA/PIO with Avenal State Prison and a member of the CRT.

The total number of arrests for the investigation are:

  • 25 Arrest Warrants
  • 13 Search warrants
  • 32 in custody (18 federally charged, 14 state)
  • 3 – Federal suspects outstanding
  • 1 – State outstanding
  • 30 Firearms seized (including 7 assault rifles, 1 machine gun)
  • 13 Pounds of meth seized
  • 5 Pounds of marijuana seized
  • ¼ Pound of cocaine seized

“I would like to thank the Fresno MAGEC Team for inviting us to work with them. It was amazing to see what an overwhelming police force can do working together,” said Lt. Tuntakit. “Special thanks to ASP Warden Rosemary Ndoh and PVSP Warden Scott Frauenheim for their continued efforts to support the local community and provide public safety.”