This major drug operation orchestrated out of Pleasant Valley State Prison was announced during a news conference moments ago.
Awaiting press conference about Operation Red Reaper, targeting prison/street gang influence in Tulare and Kings Counties. We’re expecting authorities will also discuss yesterday’s OIS south of Hanford and home invasion shooting in Corcoran. @ABC30 pic.twitter.com/yL4ymEOpNR— Brian Johnson (@BrianABC30) June 19, 2019
Authorities also said the inmates are connected to other violent crime including a home invasion robbery that ended in a shooting and a deputy-involved shooting.
Federal court documents unsealed yesterday charged 21 defendants at Pleasant Valley - with conspiracy to sell and possess the drugs.
According to an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Ryan Steger, the 'Nuestra Familia' gang used contraband cell phones to extend the reach of their drug trafficking activity from the prison to the streets of Kings, Kern Tulare and Fresno counties.
It was just hours after a planned gang sweep Tuesday morning that authorities got word of a home invasion robbery in Corcoran that ended with a suspect shot.
With that task force already geared up and ready, they got a lead on the additional suspects in that home invasion. Authorities pulled them over in a traffic stop Tuesday morning that quickly turned violent.
"Freddy Quer almost immediately after that vehicle came to a stop, abruptly exited the passenger door and I recall it," said Kings County Assistant Sheriff Robert Thayer. "Fashioned an isosceles shape to confront law enforcement in what they perceived to be fired upon by a weapon."
Three department of justice officers and a Kings County deputy all opened fire.
Both suspects were hit with one last reported in critical condition.
The other is expected to survive along with the suspect shot in the home invasion robbery.
In total during the multi-day gang operation officials made 96 arrests and recovered 74 firearms, 14 which had been converted to be fully automatic.
Those arrested face charges associated with murder, drug sales, firearms possession, robbery, and extortion.