Orange County

Authorities Make Arrests in Gang Crackdown in Orange County

The arrests came on the heels of 10 federal indictments charging 20 defendants, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Nine people were arrested Wednesday on various drug and weapons charges included in a series of federal indictments targeting multiple Orange County gangs, but authorities were continuing to search for two other defendants.

The arrests came on the heels of 10 federal indictments charging 20 defendants, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. In addition to the nine arrested Wednesday, two other defendants named in the indictment were arrested

Tuesday on state charges, seven were already in custody and two others remain at large.

A 21st person was also named in the indictment but has since died, officials said.

The charges focus primarily on methamphetamine and heroin deals, as well as weapons offenses, according to federal prosecutors.

One of the indictments involves drug trafficking out of a motel in Santa Ana, while another alleges the sale of a half-pound of methampetamine for $3,500 in an Anaheim motel.

"The federal criminal cases being announced today are the latest in a long string of investigations in which federal and state agencies have partnered to target the gang activity that takes a devastating toll on neighborhoods," U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said.

The gang crackdown was dubbed "Operation King Midas," and was carried out by the Orange County Violent Gang Task Force, which includes the FBI and a variety of local law enforcement agencies.

"Today's announcement of Operation King Midas is an example of our collective success in protecting our communities," Santa Ana Police Chief David Valentin said.

The defendants named in the indictments are:

-- Sergio Soria, 41, of Tustin, who is a fugitive;

-- David Oscar Perez, 42, of Santa Ana;

-- Hector Aburto Lopez, 27, of Santa Ana;

-- Sammy Walter Gray, 25, of Santa Ana;

-- Sylvia Gray, 43, of Santa Ana;

-- Deanna Lorraine Kirk, 48, of Bakersfield;

-- George Ramirez, 39, of Santa ana;

-- Danny Castillo, 39, of Santa Ana;

-- Melissa Ramirez, 35, of Santa Ana;

-- Esteban Cervantes, 43, of Santa Ana;

-- Oscar Peralta Jimenez, 35, of Santa Ana;

-- Daniel Zaragoza, 39, of Santa Ana;

-- Jennie Martinez, 27, of Santa Ana;

-- Michael Herrera, 41, of Santa Ana, an alleged gang shot caller who is believed to be in Mexico;

-- Jaime Rojas, 41, of Garden Grove;

-- Cesar Reyes, 43, of Santa Ana;

-- Rene Cruz, 42, of Santa Ana;

-- Berenice Macias, 27, of Anaheim;

-- Gregory Michael O'Brien, 50, of Santa Ana; and

-- Frank Perez, 47, of Santa Ana.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
Contact Us