Operation “Hybrid Havoc” results in 88 felony arrests, with two homicides solved, and 58 firearms seized
STOCKTON — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced the results of a multiagency effort — operation “Hybrid Havoc” — targeting violent street gangs in Stockton. Members of the gangs were allegedly responsible for a series of violent crimes, including at least two homicides, and were identified by the Stockton Police Department’s Gang Violence Suppression Unit and the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office as a significant threat to the community. The agencies then requested the assistance of the California Department of Justice.
“Collaborative law enforcement efforts such as operation Hybrid Havoc are a key component in our efforts to protect Californians and public safety,” said Attorney General Bonta. “I am thankful for the work of our agents and our partners in Stockton. Today, we are announcing that we have not only taken dangerous individuals, illegal guns, and drugs off Stockton streets — but also helped bring closure to families grieving for the loss of their loved ones. While we recognize that the trauma of gun violence and crime continues be felt across our communities, today we helped the Stockton community take an important step toward healing.”
“We send a clear message today to those who commit harm in our communities: violence, in any capacity, will not be tolerated,” said District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar. “My office, in conjunction with our law enforcement partners, will hold people accountable to the fullest extent of the law and ensure our neighborhoods are safe, secure, and thriving.”
“This investigation was part of our on-going group gun violence intervention strategy,” said Stockton Police Chief Stan McFadden.“The collaborative effort with our law enforcement partners was based on focused enforcement for those groups that continued violence in our city.”
As part of the investigation, agents carried out a two-phase operation occurring on May 18, 2022 and culminating yesterday. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement agents executed 24 search warrants and 18 arrest warrants in the Stockton area, focusing on the north Stockton area. As part of the operations, the agencies arrested a total of 88 individuals on felony charges, seized 58 firearms — including 12 ghost guns and 10 assault weapons — and confiscated 959 grams of MDMA, 394 grams of cocaine, 98 grams of methamphetamine, 73 grams of heroin, 3.8 lbs. of illegal marijuana, 54 grams of fentanyl, and $23,846 in cash. As part of the operation, agents prevented alleged acts of violent crime including one attempted homicide, four shootings, a burglary, and a robbery. Two homicides were solved as a result of the investigation.
Along with those already charged, the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office will be reviewing the cases of all those arrested for potential filing in San Joaquin County Superior Court. The alleged crimes include murder, conspiracy to commit murder, firearms and narcotics trafficking, as well as gang enhancements.
Through collaboration, the DOJ Special Operations Unit provides statewide enforcement for combating violent career criminals, gangs, and organized crime groups, along with intrastate drug traffickers. These unique and essential teams use the latest technology and advanced investigative techniques and work alongside local law enforcement to enhance investigations into violent criminals and organized crime throughout the state.
It is important to note that a criminal complaint contains charges that are only allegations against a person. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.
The number one job of the DOJ is to protect the public’s safety. Attorney General Bonta has worked with local, state, and federal partners to:
- Take down human trafficking rings in San Diego, Kings County and throughout California, and launching Human Trafficking and Sexual Predator Apprehension Teams within the DOJ;
- Stand up against retail theft by securing felony sentencing in one of the largest organized retail theft operations ever busted in California history, announcing felony charges against members of a statewide organized retail theft ring, and by bringing law enforcement and retailers together to address this problem head-on;
- Dismantle gangs and protect neighborhoods in Fresno, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Visalia, and as announced today, in Stockton;
- Ending illegal gambling operations including in Santa Ana, through the Bureau of Gambling Control;
- Work together with the community to find public safety solutions in Stockton and San Diego; and
- Protect elders from abuse and neglect by prosecuting bad actors who steal, defraud, or harm and abuse our elders.