A Santa Maria woman was among more than 60 individuals associated with the Aryan Brotherhood who were arrested last week as part of a multi-agency operation, authorities said.
Regina Broomall, aka “G,” of Santa Maria, was named in a complaint, which alleges she was part of a firearms tracking operation. The federal complaint names several defendants accused of engaging in a series of firearms and drug trafficking offenses, mostly led by Robert Eversole, of Kern Valley State Prison, and Kenneth Bash, and Todd Morgan, both of Salinas Valley State Prison.
The charges were announced Nov. 20 by U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp, Special Agent in Charge Patrick Gorman of the ATF’s San Francisco Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan of the FBI’s Sacramento Field Office, and Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.
“For the second time in less than 18 months, we are announcing federal charges against Aryan Brotherhood members and associates, a violent gang operating in California prisons,” Mr. Scott said in a statement. “(On Nov. 19), five inmates were transferred to federal custody from California state prisons. All were serving lengthy sentences, two were serving life sentences for murder. We are committed to doing everything we can to stop these violent inmates from orchestrating their criminal activities from inside prison walls.”
Earlier this year, investigators began seeing evidence that Aryan Brotherhood members and associates in prison were directing criminal activities outside of the prison walls. The AB is a gang formed in the California prison system in about 1964 by white inmates who wanted to gain power and authority in prison. It includes other associated gangs, such as Fresnecks, Peckerwoods, and Skinheads, authorities said.
During the course of the investigation, robberies, murders, drug trafficking, pervasive fraud, and firearms offenses that occurred in Santa Barbara, Fresno, San Bernardino, Inyo, and other areas in California, were later tied to the AB prison gang. Eventually, the investigation reached as far as Montana, Missouri, Idaho, and Alabama. Eleven acts of violence were intercepted before they were accomplished, and over 80 pounds of methamphetamine, five pounds of heroin, and over 25 firearms were seized.
The drug offenses involved pound quantities of methamphetamine, and the trafficking extended outside of California. Additionally, several defendants participated in a conspiracy to smuggle drugs and dangerous contraband into prisons. The complaint also alleges illegal firearms possession related to a plan to commit a murder.
In addition to Ms. Broomall, Mr. Bash, Mr. Eversole and Mr. Morgan, the complaint charged the following defendants: Stephanie Madsen of Torrance (drug trafficking); David Zachocki, aka “Lil David Z,” of Lodi (felon in possession of a firearm); Cody Brown of Atascadero (drug trafficking); Geoffrey Guess, aka “Active,” of Fresno (firearms trafficking); Angel Lopez, aka “Rascal,” of Salinas Valley State Prison (drug trafficking); Joseph McWilliams, aka “Janky,” (drug trafficking, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense); James Armstrong (drug trafficking); Marlon Palmer, aka “P-Nut,” of Salinas Valley State Prison (drug trafficking); Samantha Booth of Clovis (drug trafficking); Jacob Renshaw, aka “Shredder,” in custody in Montana (drug trafficking); and Amanda Gourley, aka “Biggie,” of Fresno (drug trafficking).
The Fresno County District Attorney’s office has charged more than 30 people in connection with this investigation for gang conspiracy, fraud and violent crimes including kidnapping, carjacking, assault with a firearm and arson, authorities said.
As part of this operation, 39 federal and state search warrants were served in Santa Maria, Fresno, Los Angeles, and Montana. Multiple guns, and over seven pounds of methamphetamine, prescription pills and heroin were found and seized as a result of these searches. Additionally, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation conducted searches of 63 cells in 14 state prisons in California related to this investigation. Among the items seized in the prisons were cellphones and drugs.
This investigation was conducted by the California Department of Justice and California Highway Patrol Special Operations Unit, the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, the Fresno Police Department, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Special Services Unit.
Assisting in the arrests were the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bishop Police Department, and the Clovis Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephanie Stokman and Thomas Newman, and Fresno County Deputy District Attorneys Robert Veneman-Hughes and Dennis Lewis are handling the prosecutions.