Attorney General Brown Announces Crackdown on Violent Richmond Gang
RICHMOND—California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus today announced the arrests this morning of 18 gang members of the dangerous Deep Central criminal street gang that has been “wantonly terrorizing” Richmond for the last five years.
“This notorious street gang has been wantonly terrorizing the neighborhoods of Richmond with robberies, prostitution, drug trafficking and even murders,” said Attorney General Brown. “Just last year, more than 20 homicides in the city resulted from the gang war between Deep Central and the Project Trojans.”
In response to the 47 homicides in Richmond last year—the highest per-capita murder rate in California—Attorney General Brown authorized the gang investigation that resulted in today’s major gang takedown. Formed in 2003, the Deep Central gang, also known as Deep C, includes an estimated 100 members who claim Richmond as their territory. The gang is one of the largest and most violent criminal street gangs in Richmond, engaging in drug trafficking, robbery, assault and prostitution. Residential neighborhoods are often ground zero for some of the gang’s most violent activity.
At approximately 7 a.m. this morning, more than 200 state, local and federal law enforcement personnel served 40 search warrants and 43 arrest warrants in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, and Sacramento County. In addition to the arrests, agents seized substantial quantities of cocaine and marijuana, with an estimated street value of $100,000. Agents also seized 8 firearms, including a fully automatic weapon, a ballistic vest and more than $17,000 in cash. One of the gang associates arrested in today’s operation, Kaisha Hill, was a City of Richmond Parks and Recreation juvenile group counselor who had a stash that included a kilo of cocaine and 3 guns, one of which was a Mac-11 automatic weapon.
The Attorney General’s investigation began after two of the gang’s leaders, Todd Gillard and Rohnell Robinson, attempted to kill a rival gang member in a drive-by shooting at Hilltop Mall in Richmond. Gillard and Robinson instead shot the rival’s 17 year-old girlfriend in the neck, leaving her a quadriplegic. At a grand jury trial, Gillard and Robinson were both indicted for attempted murder and are in custody, awaiting trial. Prior to his arrest, Gillard was identified as the “shooter” in at least two other drive-by shootings with rival gang members in residential neighborhoods in Richmond.
Narcotics agents from the Attorney General’s Office led today’s operation in conjunction with the Richmond Police Department. During the course of the investigation, arrests were made for homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, grand theft, shooting at a vehicle, possession for sale of marijuana, possession for sale and transportation of cocaine, possession of an assault weapon, and prostitution.
Other law enforcement agencies participating in today’s operation include the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigations, West Contra Costa County Narcotic Enforcement Team, Central Contra Costa County Narcotic Enforcement Team, Napa Special Investigations Bureau, Marin County Narcotic Task Force, Elk Grove Police Department, and Rancho Cordova Police Department.
The Attorney General’s Office assists local law enforcement when severe gang problems cross jurisdictional boundaries. State agents have recently shut down a Norteño street gang and a violent Cambodian street gang in Stockton, a Sureño gang in Atwater and the Varrio Central Poros, a brutal criminal street gang that terrorized the City of Porterville for years. Brown’s special agents have also participated in recent crime crackdowns in East Palo Alto, Oakland, and Compton