Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Authorities arrest gang members during Tuesday enforcement effort

LAKE COUNTY – Local, state and federal law enforcement officials conducted an enforcement around the county Tuesday in an effort to check up on parolees who are documented gang members.

Lt. Brad Rasmussen of Lakeport Police said that Lakeport Police, Lake County Sheriff's officials, California Highway Patrol, Lake County Narcotic Task Force, the Criminal Investigation Division of the Lake County District Attorney's Office, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Lake County Probation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation participated in the action.

Rasmussen said the enforcement was focused on local parolees who have affiliations with different types of gangs.

The one-day operation required about a month of preparation, including gathering intelligence about the parolees' activities, said Rasmussen.

From 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. the agencies conducted 14 parole searches around the county, Rasmussen said. “As a result of those searches, three parolees were arrested for being in violation of parole.”

Tuesday's arrests for felony parole violations included Daniel Ray Loyd, 46, of Clearlake, whose charges also included a felony for taking a vehicle without the owner's consent and a parole violation; Jay Allen Herman, 37, a laborer residing in Middletown; and Adam Nicholas Southard, 20, of Lakeport whose occupation is listed as “property management” in the Lake County Jail's booking information.

“Based on evidence located in some of the searches, we expect parole violation warrants to be issued for two more parolees,” said Rasmussen. Those two individuals' parole violations include associating with or participating in gangs.

No firearms were found, said Rasmussen, but knives and other prohibited weapons were located, along with gang paraphernalia.

The enforcement led to some interesting finds in addition to arrests, said Rasmussen.

“At one location in Lakeport, 30 mature marijuana plants were seized by the FBI,” he said, adding that the agency is conducting a federal investigation on that cultivation operation.

No arrests were made in conjunction with the marijuana seizure, Rasmussen added. The case is expected to be referred to the US Attorney's Office.

Lakeport Police Det. Norm Taylor said this is the first time a gang member-specific enforcement has been conducted.

The county's gang task force communicated with both state and fed agencies on the effort, said Taylor.

Those checked in Tuesday's searches were members or associates of numerous gangs, said Taylor.

Represented were members of Hispanic street gangs, prison gangs and even white supremacists, Taylor said, who noted there is a notable mix of groups around the county.

Taylor and two other officers have been assigned to a special Lakeport Police gang detail that focuses on gang-related investigations since last year.

For the past year, we've been doing everything we can to be proactive and gather intelligence on criminal street gangs and people who participate in them,” Taylor said.

Those increased efforts coincide with a spring and summer that have witnessed increasing gang activity in the city limits, first with Alex Larranaga's stabbing on March 16 in Library Park, and then the July 4 beating of a 14-year-old boy on 11th Street.

Both victims were attacked by gangs – Larranaga by Surenos, the teen by Nortenos – who mistook them for rival gang members, Lakeport Police previously reported.

Taylor said this week's sweep was just a continuation of the department's effort to turn up the heat on street gang activity.

The operation Tuesday received assistance from the Department of Corrections, which has a special unit to focus just on parolees with gang affiliations, Taylor said.

Bill Sessa, deputy press secretary for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, told Lake County News that the agency's special gang unit is part of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's anti-gang initiative.

Unit members are experts in gang tacts and identifications, Sessa explained. “They can read tattoos the way you and I would read a menu in a restaurant.”

While the gang unit is used to monitor gang activity in prisons, its members also assist local officials in sweets and parole compliance checks in an effort to break down gang activity, said Sessa.

“They provide assistance at the request of local government,” said Sessa.

The special gang unit acts hand-in-hand with the agency's fugitive apprehension team, whose agents are specifically trained to find fugitive parolees, said Sessa.

Taylor said enforcements like this one will be part of a continuing effort by the Lake County Gang Task Force to focus on people who are actively participating in criminal street gangs.

“We're going to put together sweeps periodically and put together an enforcement effort,” he said.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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