"Operation Black Rhino" focused on the Townsend Street gang, one of the "most violent and active" in the county, said David Valentín, the Santa Ana police chief

13 arrested during “Operation Black Rhino” directed against Santa Ana gang

The operation against the Santa Ana gang left 13 arrested.

John Moore / Getty Images

Thirteen people were arrested during a multi-agency operation against the Townsend Street gang, based in Santa Ana, that officials described as one of the most violent and active in Orange County.

The “Operation Black Rhino” investigation, which lasted several months, culminated in raids in 15 locations throughout Orange County. In addition, Orange County Jail agents searched the cells of prisoners associated with the gang, authorities said when announcing the arrests on Thursday.

The Santa Ana police published a video of the raids that identifies the following 11 suspects: Jairo Echeverría, 25; Jaime García, 28; Fernando Cuevas; Alexis Lara, 24; Giovanni Marcial, 27; Ricardo Solorio, 19; Omar Valencia Montes, 23; Jordan Castaneda, 21; Carlos Daniel Godinez Sanchez, 19; Alexander Laur, 24; Fernando Guerrero, 35 years old; and Edgar Calvo, 26.

Several of the people arrested on Thursday had prior convictions and arrests for serious crimes, including for attempted murder and murder, Santa Ana police chief Dave Valentin said during a press conference on Thursday. Two violated his probation.

During the investigation, sand they seized five weapons, including an assault rifle, a bulletproof vest, 3 pounds of drugs and $ 16,000 in cash, Valentin said.

"These are the tools of the violent street gang trade in this county," said the Orange County prosecutor, Todd Spitzer "These are violent people involved in extreme and outrageous illegal behaviors, which are ruining communities and taking over."

The authorities said that the Townsend Street gang is one of the oldest gangs in Orange County. Spitzer said authorities are working to curb the influence of the gang on young people.

Fullerton, Anaheim, Whittier and La Habra police departments, along with the FBI and several federal agencies, assisted in the investigation.


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