FBI San Diego
Media Coordinator
(858) 320-1800 | SDPublicAffairs@fbi.gov
November 15, 2019

Federal Complaints Target Street Gangs Involved in Drug Trafficking and Firearms Violations

SAN DIEGO—FBI Special Agent in Charge Scott Brunner is announcing the conclusion of a gang investigation resulting in the arrest of 17 gang members and associates from street gangs based in National City, Chula Vista, and south San Diego.

The San Diego FBI Violent Crimes Task Force – Gang Group filed multiple federal complaints against several defendants on narcotics and firearms charges as part of the gang takedown. Court filings allege the defendants are linked to gangs and trafficked methamphetamine, heroin, and other drugs in their territory. In addition, one defendant is charged with a federal firearms violation.

Yesterday, November 14, 2019, gang task force officers and agents conducted an operation to arrest those defendants charged in the complaints and not already in custody on separate charges. Out of all defendants charged in the complaints, 17 defendants are in custody. Three defendants remain outstanding. Law enforcement officers continue the investigation to locate the remaining fugitives.

Defendants taken into custody yesterday made their initial court appearances today, November 15, 2019, in the United States District Court—Southern District of California.

A complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The San Diego FBI Violent Crime Task Force – Gang Group is part of the FBI Safe Streets Violent Crime Initiative designed to allow each FBI Field Office to address violent street gangs, gang-related drug trafficking, and drug-related violence through the establishment of FBI sponsored, long-term, proactive task forces focusing on violent gangs, crimes of violence, and the apprehension of violent fugitives. The task force is a vehicle to combine federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to effectively combat gang violence plaguing local communities.

The FBI operates hundreds of task forces throughout our 56 field offices, including over 169 Safe Streets Task Forces focused on violent gangs.

This case was investigated by the Violent Crimes Task Force – Gang Group comprised of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, National City Police Department, San Diego Police Department, United States Bureau of Prisons, San Diego County Probation Department, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation – Special Services Unit, San Diego County District Attorney’s Office – Gang Prosecution Unit, and Homeland Security Investigations. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Chula Vista Police Department provided support during the investigation.