Fresno Police Dismantle Gang

July 18, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Fresno police say they've removed one of the largest gangs in west Fresno. Two separate operations that started at the beginning of the year pulled 84 gang members and drug dealers off the streets.Residents we spoke to up and down these streets say they're glad to see this gang gone, but operations to eliminate these gangs should have happened long ago.

This is the day that residents in this southwest Fresno neighborhood have been waiting for, for twenty years.

Rosco Alexander, resident, says "No more of those figure 8's in the streets; guns shots."

Palo Del Santos, resident, says "You don't want to be out here at night. There was a time I didn't want to come out here after 10 o'clock. Sundown like the cowboys I'm in the house!"

But now Palo Del Santos says he can go out at night because the Villa Posse gang doesn't control his neighborhood anymore. That's because the west Fresno tactical gang unit arrested 54 high level gang members over the last week.

Chief Jerry Dyer, Fresno Police, says "They have proven to be a very ruthless gang and have been responsible for many shootings and murders in the city of Fresno."

Chief Dyer says the biggest arrest came when they captured suspected Villa Posse leader Curtis Hendrix and 13 enforcers that work for him. "Curtis Hendrix was the shot-caller for the Villa Posse gang," says Chief Dyer.

Dyer says Hendrix organized many shootings and drug sales and now faces federal charges for conspiracy and drug trafficking. Federal prosecutor McGregor Scott says many of the gang members are repeat offenders, and should not be back on the streets anytime soon.

"Each of these persons in the federal system will be required to serve 85% of their sentence as opposed to 50% which is the typical set up in the state system," says Scott.

While the task force was arresting Villa Posse gang member's police say they also caught 30 suspected southwest Fresno drug dealers.

"Like I said that should have been done a long time ago," says Alexander.

Del Santos says "There's less crime there's less problems."

Police say it would be easy for someone to step up and try to lead the Villa Posse's remaining members right now. However the tactical unit will be monitoring this gang until it's completely dissolved.
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