“This is an example of public safety work at its best. When teams of officers and agents focus on dangerous individuals and gangs who terrorize our neighborhoods and communities, they are working to make our lives safer. These violent gang members pose an absolute threat to all of us.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
RIVERSIDE — On May 25, 2022, a two-year investigation into gang activity in Riverside culminated when California Department of Justice (DOJ) special agents and local law enforcement officers executed 20 search warrants and four arrest warrants in Riverside County.
As part of the operation, law enforcement officers:
- arrested 17 people,
- seized 55 firearms, including six ghost guns and three assault weapons,
- confiscated two pounds of fentanyl, two pounds of cocaine, two pounds of heroin, a half-pound of methamphetamine, and 200 MDMA pills,
- Confiscated $65,952 in cash.
Operation “Walk in the Park” targeted a violent street gang in Riverside County. Members of the gang are allegedly responsible for a series of violent crimes, including at least two homicides, and were identified by the Riverside Police Department and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department as a significant threat to the community. The agencies then requested the assistance of the California Department of Justice.
Two gang-related homicides in Riverside and Moreno Valley were solved as a result of the joint investigation, including the murder of 32-year-old Cedric Dempsey, a father of nine, who was found deceased in Bordwell Park in Riverside.
Also, as part of the operation, special agents learned of an alleged conspiracy to commit murder. Agents intercepted a non-serialized pistol they believe was intended to be used in the crime and arrested the alleged manufacturer and distributor of the illegal ghost gun.
Along with those already charged, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office will be reviewing the cases of all those arrested for potential filing in Riverside County Superior Court. The alleged crimes include murder, conspiracy to commit murder, firearms and narcotics trafficking, as well as gang enhancements.