SAN FRANCISCO - A joint operation between federal Homeland Security investigators and San Francisco police has lead to the arrests of ten suspected members of a gang called the 19th Street/16th Street Surenos, operating out of San Francisco's Mission District.
Six were arrested Thursday in San Francisco, Pacifica and Richmond. The others were already in custody.
"Yesterday, morning in a surgically connected effort, officers made sure the alleged threat to public safety was taken off the street," said Ryan Spradlin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations.
The indictments tie those arrested to seven unsolved homicides in San Francisco and Richmond, including one case that dates back 12 years.
"Through diligent investigation work law enforcement was able to take several individuals off our street safely and without incident," said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott.
The operation included the unlikely pairing of San Francisco police and investigators for the Department of Homeland Security, which operates under ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
"Although authorities say the investigation was about killing, drug trafficking and racketeering, not immigration.
We should especially commend S.F.P.D. for putting aside misperceptions about our mission to partner with us to take advantage of the capabilities it has," said Spradlin.
The indictment says the accused men were "hunting for, shooting at, and murdering rival and suspected rival gang members," including killing a 16 year-old.
"Anytime you make significant arrests you hope to disrupt the violence those individuals are involved in. And we think it will make a significant difference in that regard," said Scott.
If convicted, each of the ten men face lengthy prison sentences, in some cases, potentially life sentences.
The arrested individuals are Jonathan "Trompo" Aguilar, 31; Luis "Lonely Boy" Cid-Salinas, 33; Juan Carlos "Huero" Gallardo, 29; Josue "Ghost" Gonzales, 36; Orlando "Christo" Hernandez, 35; Michael "Gallo" Rebolledo, 30; Mario "Shy Boy" Reyes, 38; Luis "Grizz" Rojas, 31; Eddy "Rhino" Urbina, 29 and Weston "Cartoon" Venegas, 30.