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Arrests made in 6 SF homicides in joint SFPD, Homeland Security operation

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San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott and Ryan L. Spradlin, Special Agent in Charge with Homeland Security Investigations, announce the arrest of gang members at a joint press briefing on Friday, April 6, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

San Francisco police and federal Homeland Security Investigations authorities on Friday announced arrests in six San Francisco homicides, part of a larger operation targeting a Sureno gang operating in San Francisco’s Mission District.

The homicides occurred between 2006 and 2013, according to San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott.

By partnering with federal authorities “we were able to take extremely violent individuals off the street this week safely and without incident,” Scott said at a media briefing. “Today we hope these arrests and the judicial process that follows will bring a measure of comfort to their families.”

The announcement coincided with the unsealing of a federal indictment against 10 people alleged to be involved in gangs referred to by federal prosecutors as the “19th Street Surenos” and the “16th Street Surenos.” The 10 people are alleged to have been involved in seven murders, including the six in San Francisco and one in Richmond, with nine of them alleged to have participated in the murders and the tenth to have helped plan a “hunt” that led to one of the murders.

The lengthy indictment lists charges including racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, use or possession of a firearm causing murder.

Those indicted include Jonathan Aguilar, also known as “Trompo,” 31; Luis Cid-Salinas, also known as “Lonely” or “Lonely Boy,” 33; Juan Carlos Gallardo, aka Huero, 29; Josue Gonzalez, also known as “Ghost” or “Fedi,” 36; Orlando Hernandez, also known as “Christo,” 25; Michael Rebolledo, also known as “Gallo,” 30; Mario Reyes, also known as “Shy Boy,” 38; Luis Rojas, also known as “Grizz” or “Grizzly,” 31; Eddy Urbina, also known as “Rhino,” 29, and Weston Venegas, also known as “Cartoon,” 30.

Six of the defendants were arrested Thursday in a coordinated effort between police and federal authorities, while another was taken into custody from Santa Clara County Jail and three others are already in the custody of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

San Francisco’s Sanctuary City policies limit the ability of local police to assist in federal immigration operations. However police and homeland security officials on Friday said that all of those arrested in the coordinated effort were in the United States legally and no collateral arrests of undocumented residents were made during the operation.

Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigation’s San Francisco field office, said “the public should commend the SFPD for pushing aside misconceptions about our mission and partnering with us in the interest of taking advantage of the critical public safety work HSI does.”

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