A collaborative effort dubbed “Operation Lucky Charm” by multiple law enforcement agencies including the FBI, ATF, MAGEC, and others made a huge dent in the activities and impact of the Fresnecks, a white supremacist gang.
As part of Operation Lucky Charm, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC) worked in conjunction with several law enforcement agencies. They include: The California Department of Justice (DOJ), California Highway Patrol, Fresno Police Department, Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, Clovis Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.
On November 19, 2020, law enforcement agencies executed 26 search warrants and 65 arrest warrants in Fresno County, Los Angeles County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, and Tulare County. Over the course of the investigation into the Aryan Brotherhood, Fresnecks, and their associates, 102 arrests were made, and 47 firearms, 89 pounds of methamphetamine, 5.75 pounds of heroin, and $136,156 were seized. Arrests were made for a variety of charges including murder, kidnapping, firearms, and other crimes.
The task force was praised by Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims for their tireless work, commitment, and cooperation as they investigated the Fresneck street gang and its connection to the Aryan Brotherhood. Both groups have a strong presence in the California prison system.
“Working alongside local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, we’ve zeroed in and taken down alleged members of two criminal organizations with a history of violent crime in Fresno and throughout California,” said Attorney General Becerra. “The success of this operation highlights the way multiagency collaboration can help keep our communities safe. Thank you to all of the individuals who made this operation a success.”
The project began in January, leading to an in-depth exploration of criminal networking through the prison system. At this point no employees of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation were implicated in the findings of the task force.
Numerous plots, plans and transactions were disrupted by the investigation. and uncovered a multitude of crimes, including the distribution of meth and heroin into Montana and into Idaho.
The investigation into the illegal activity partnership between the Fresnecks and Aryan Brotherhood began in January 2020. As leads developed, law enforcement served search warrants at several locations. By mid-November, a total of 102 arrests were made, 47 guns were recovered, $136,000 in cash was seized, nearly 90 lbs. of methamphetamine was confiscated along with close to six pounds of heroin. These numbers include results from a large joint-agency
operation which took place on Thursday, November 19th, where search warrants were served at two dozen homes and cell searches were conducted within several California state prisons.
A key element of the operation was the ability of prison inmates to obtain cell phones. This allowed certain gang leaders to give directions to other gang members outside the prisons; ordering them to sell guns, drugs and orchestrate violent crimes.
Investigators worked with CDCR to identify inmates in control of
calling shots. Some of these key players include: 34 year old Kenneth Bash, 52 year old Todd Morgan, 47 year old Robert Eversole, 40 year old Marlon Palmer and 40 year old Angel Lopez. Numerous times, investigators were able to intercept cell phones and drugs which were attempting to be smuggled into the prisons.
The success of this operation is a tribute to great working relationship between local, state and federal agencies. All of the people arrested now face state and / or federal charges.
Detectives are still seeking to arrest the following 13 people.
- Sarah Booth
- Carlos Bravo-Orozco
- Cody Brown
- Robin Davis
- Fawn Dehmel
- Callie Eversole
- Karie Gunter
- Chancelor Kaufman
- Brock Larson
- Jeffrey Moore
- Emarie Ornelas
- Vanessa Palomar
- Eric Rochlem
In all, 102 arrests were made against members of Aryan Brotherhood and the Fresneck gang, which Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims described as white supremacist group in philosophy.
Five members of Fresneck’s leadership who were formerly incarcerated in CDCR facilities have been relocated into other institutions.
More information will be added as it become available. This is an ongoing effort and further activities are expected.
Anyone with additional information related to this investigation is asked to please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (559) 600-3111 or Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867, http://www.valleycrimestoppers.org You will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.