34 arrested in gang related crack down

Operation Nightmare leads countywide law enforcement to conduct probation and parole compliance checks resulting in the arrest of 34 suspects

TULARE COUNTY – Law enforcement entities banded together for a probation and parole detail that resulted in the discovery of several gang related crimes including an illegal firearm manufacturing operation.

As part of the ongoing investigation into the Goshen Massacre that occurred on Jan. 16, known as “Operation Nightmare,” the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office’s Tulare Area Gang and Narcotics Enforcement Team (TAGNET) organized a multi-agency probation and parole detail. Officers from around the county joined forces to participate, which covered the entirety of Tulare County and incorporated cities. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation also conducted searches of validated prison gang members cells. In relation to the detail, on Feb. 24, eight individuals were arrested and booked at the Tulare County Adult Pre-Trial Facility for a variety of different charges.

The operation took place over the course of four days throughout February and a total of 34 suspects were arrested. This probation and parole detail was “prompted by the murders” that occurred in January according to Ashley Schwarm, TCSO media specialist.

The last part of the detail was completed on Friday Feb. 24., where detectives continued their ongoing investigation and served nine search warrants in the Visalia and Goshen areas on known Norteno gang members. As a result, five firearms, ammunition, two pounds of methamphetamine, one ounce of cocaine, an illegal firearm manufacturing operation and gang indicia or signs, were located.

The illegal firearm manufacturing operation consisted of gang members making and selling untraceable firearms to other gang members. Evidence seized consisted of polymer 80 parts to assemble untraceable handguns, assault rifle parts to assemble untraceable AR-15 style firearms and parts to make a handgun fully automatic.

Those who served the warrants in the Visalia Goshen areas included the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, along with Tulare County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and explosives (ATF), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation Fugitive Apprehension Team, California Department of Justice TARGET Task Force, Visalia Police Department, Kings County Sheriff’s Office and Porterville Police Department.

As the warrants were being served throughout Tulare County, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation simultaneously conducted 23 cell searches on known Norteno and Nuestra Familia gang members throughout multiple prisons in California. As a result, numerous cell phones, weapons and gang intelligence were seized from validated prison gang members.

The eight individuals who were charged on Feb. 24, include one from Goshen, Jimmy Analla Jr, 31, charged with possession of methamphetamine for sales and possession of cocaine for sales. The remaining seven were from Visalia; Carlos Garcia Jr, 25, child endangerment, possession of an assault weapon, manufacturing an illegal weapon and gang enhancement; Carlos Garcia Sr, 44, felon in possession of a firearm and gang Enhancement; Julie Balderama, 27, child endangerment; Rigoberto Benavides, 36, possession of drug paraphernalia; Patricia Flores, 30, possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of parole; Michael Castro, 40, child endangerment, prohibited person in possession of a firearm; Tommy Gonzales, 30, felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, possession of a stolen firearm.

Earlier in the month, a total of 97 homes were searched. In that detail, 26 suspects were arrested, 18 arrest warrants were served, six firearms and an ounce of a controlled substance were seized.

Officers from the Visalia Police Department, Dinuba Police Department, Tulare Police Department, Woodlake Police Department, Farmersville Police Department, Exeter Police Department, Lindsay Police Department, Porterville Police Department, Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, Tulare County Probation, CDCR Parole and Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives participated in the detail.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at 559-733-6218. Or, individuals can remain anonymous by calling or texting 559-725-4194 or through email at [email protected].

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