Most of the Dog Pound gang members arrested last month at the conclusion of a massive Fresno gang investigation were indicted this week in federal court.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed two-dozen federal charges against 18 of the 28 men arrested on April 21. The men are believed to be ringleaders of the notorious Dog Pound gang, which Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer called the largest and most violent African American gang in the city.
Three defendants were charged with sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, and a fourthwas charged with sex trafficking of a minor – the most serious charges in the indictment. If convicted, the three men face 15 years to life in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release. The fourth faces 10 years to life for the charge of sex trafficking of a minor.
Ten were charged with conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
Others were charged with transporting prostitutes across state lines and various fraud and theft charges. The gang allegedly had been electronically stealing credit card information from Fresno residents and using it to finance its operations.
James York, believed to be the Dog Pound’s leader, faces the most charges. He is accused of conspiracy to commit murder, sex trafficking, transporting prostitutes across state lines and possessing an unregistered gun.
The indictment goes into great detail about the sophisticated inner workings of the Dog Pound, as well as the current climate of gang violence in Fresno.
Attorney Tony Capozzi, who represents defendant Trenell Monson, said the first court date will be June 22. It will likely take several months to go over all of the evidence due to the immense amount of data collected during the investigation.
Additional charges against the 18 men, as well as the 10 others arrested in the sweep, still may be filed in Fresno County Superior Court.