3 U.S. agents shot in Petaluma gang raid

3 U.S. agents shot in Petaluma gang raid

Posted in the Vallejo Forum

Gringo Tonto

Vallejo, CA

#1 May 4, 2012
The feds are very busy in California raiding pot grows, drug traffickers and now violent gangs. And where there are gangs, drugs will naturally follow. Thank God we have dedicated people who would risk their lives to make our society safe of crime and drugs.


3 U.S. agents shot in Petaluma gang raid

Will Kane,Vivian Ho

Friday, May 4, 2012

Three federal immigration agents were shot and wounded in Petaluma early Thursday while taking part in an antigang sweep prompted by a 2010 triple killing in South San Francisco, authorities said.

The raid was part of a Bay Area-wide operation in which federal and local authorities arrested 13 people Thursday, most of them alleged gang members, who were indicted on murder, racketeering, conspiracy and other charges.

The 13 were among 19 people named in an April 24 federal indictment, which was unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The other six were already in custody, authorities said.

The three SWAT officers with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency were shot near a home at McNeil Avenue and South McDowell Boulevard around 4 a.m. All three were taken to the hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries, said Virginia Kice, an agency spokeswoman. Their names were not released.
Punching a hole

Federal officers surrounded the one-story home before dawn, knocked a large hole in the garage door and burst inside, witnesses said. Neighbors said they later heard numerous shots.

One person was arrested at the home, said Clark Settles, special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's homeland security investigations. The man fired an assault rifle at officers and wounded them in a "barrage of gunfire," he said.

Authorities would not say whether the gunman was wounded, nor would they identify him. But one of those arrested Thursday, Victor Flores, 20, lives on McNeil Avenue, public records show. Flores is one of four men accused of murder for the 2010 triple killing.
Suspected Norteños

Most of the 19 people indicted were members of the 500 Block and C Street Norteño gang factions based in South San Francisco, federal prosecutors said.

The city "was ground zero for the 500 Block, C Street violence," U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said in a news conference at South San Francisco City Hall.

Four of the arrestees could face the death penalty if convicted, and 12 others could face life in prison, prosecutors said.

The killings that led to the indictments happened Dec. 22, 2010, at the corner of Linden Avenue and an alley called Eighth Lane in South San Francisco.

Shot to death were Omar Cortez, 18; Gonzalo Avalos, 19, and Hector Flores, 20, who were standing with three acquaintances when someone opened fire from a passing Chevrolet Impala.

The survivors, who suffered minor injuries, refused to cooperate with investigators, police said at the time.

South San Francisco Police Chief Michael Massoni said the arrests had made a "significant impact" on the 500 Block and C Street gangs. According to the indictment, many of the accused were ranking members of the gangs, including alleged C Street founding member Michael Ortiz, 48, and his sons Michael Ortiz Jr., 25, and Joseph Ortiz, 22, who all live in San Bruno.
4 accused of murder

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