Courts & Crime

Fresno-area gang sweep sends gangbangers back to prison

A gang sweep in Fresno and Clovis on Wednesday netted 61 ex-convicts who were arrested for parole violations and sent back to prison, officials said.

The arrests were part of Operation Gang Zero Tolerance conducted by state and local law-enforcement agencies, including Fresno and Clovis police.

Wednesday morning's sweep continued efforts to curb gang activity and help make the community safer, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.

The gang members arrested were loaded onto a bus and a van bound for Wasco State Prison.

"These are 61 parolees who won't be committing crimes in our city because they're sitting in Wasco prison," Dyer said.he sweep led by the the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation targeted the most active gang members in the Fresno and Clovis area, said Robert Ambroselli, the department's division director of adult parole operations.

About 120 parole contacts and searches were conducted Wednesday, Ambroselli said. Future contacts and searches are planned, he said.

As part of the operation, 80 global positioning system devices were placed on paroled gang members in the past two weeks, he said. Three violated their parole and were among the 61 gang members sent to Wasco, he said.

GPS devices are effective in reducing gang activity, Dyer said, because gang members do not want to associate with someone who has one.

"It limits their freedom and takes away their anonymity," he said.

Read the full story at the Fresno Bee.