Operation Red Reaper: Nearly 100 arrested in multi-agency gang sweep in the Central Valley

HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- Authorities say Tuesday morning's home invasion robbery in Corcoran was done at the direction of a notorious Northern California prison gang-La Nuestra Familia.

Fredie Quair, Jose Quintero, and David Hernandez allegedly committed the home invasion, during which Hernandez was shot.

Two hours later, Quintero and Quair were pulled over on Highway 43, south of Hanford.

"Fredie Quair almost immediately after that vehicle came to a stop abruptly exited the passenger door, said Kings County Assistant Sheriff Robert Thayer. "And as I would call it, (in) an isosceles fashion confronted law enforcement."

One deputy and several California Department of Justice officers opened fire on Quair, striking him multiple times.

At a press conference on Wednesday, authorities confirmed that these suspects are Norteno gang members, working under high-ranking La Nuestra Familia gang members incarcerated at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga.

Assistant Sheriff Thayer says the trio of home invasion suspects were slated to be arrested later on Tuesday morning when local, state, and federal agencies served dozens of search and arrest warrants throughout the Central San Joaquin Valley as part of Operation Red Reaper.

In a federal criminal complaint filed last Friday, an FBI special agent writes that there's been an increase in crime associated with the Norteno street gang since 2014, including drugs, guns, and violence.

WATCH: Full news conference announcing arrests

The complaint details how investigators started legally wiretapping gang member phones this spring.

As of this week, they've arrested 96 people and seized more than 70 guns, and some described as fully automatic machine pistols.

Close to 40 are facing drugs and weapons charges in Kings County.

Another 21 have been charged with methamphetamine-related charges in federal court, including Salvador Castro and Raymond Lopez, who are accused of using contraband cell phones inside Pleasant Valley to traffic drugs, including meth, cocaine, and pot in Tulare and Kings Counties.

"The guns that were seized, the drugs that were seized and the combination of federal and state charges for those 90 people is going to put a very serious dent into the operations of this organization and dramatically reduce the drug trafficking and violent crimes that's taking place in these two counties," said U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott.

There was violence on Tuesday law enforcement officials say this wide-scale operation was successful and will make the South Valley a safer place.
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