Among those named in a 17-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury last week is a reputed leader of the Crips street gang, 27-year-old Jerron Johns of San Bernardino, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. His girlfriend, Crystal Dillard, a Los Angeles County probation officer, also is named. Police Lt. Paul Capraro said Monday afternoon that Dillard is in her mid-20s and from Upland. No other information about her was available. The crackdown "means a huge dent in the narcotics trafficking that was going on in Pomona," Capraro said. Authorities say 23 suspects transported and sold cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana in Pomona. All are named in the federal indictment. Dillard and Johns were arrested late last month after Johns sold more than 2 pounds of crack cocaine to a police informant, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Police say they are hunting another high-profile gang leader with ties to the operation. They say Raymond King, 37, is the main source of crack cocaine in Pomona. From January 2007 to the present, police and the the FBI have been working on an investigation into the South Side Village Crips.
That investigation led to investigations into the West Side Mafia Crips, and the 4-5-6 Island Bloods. Police started with a investigation on the east side of Pomona, focusing on drug dealing in the 1600 block of East Kingsley. Three people were killed in that block of Kingsley in 2007, according to Daily Bulletin archives.
"What we quickly learned was that the South Side Village Crips and the West Side Mafia Crips were carrying out drug activities that included violence and intimidation and included shootings in the streets of Pomona," Romero said. The investigation started at the street level and continued to expand so that it "methodically moved up the chain to identify key players, and as we expanded we had to expand out resources," Romero said of the department working with federal authorities. The Drug Enforcement Administration was brought in and assistance from the U.S. Attorney's Office was sought early on, he said. Authorities arrested 11 of the suspects Monday morning in Pomona. They were identified as Jeremiah Johnson, 29; Matthew Moore, 27; Carl Ingram, 29; Karriem Bradford, 34; Nekea Rojas, 28; Miracle Wilkerson, 30; Alicia Bass, 23; Willie Ward, 35; Michael Woods, 37; Eric Quintin Massengale, 46; and April Green, 32. Two other suspects, Lakiea Jones, 27, and Maleek Jenkins, 31, are already in state custody facing other charges. Besides King, authorities are seeking seven additional suspects named in the indictment. They are Arif Habib, 26; Larry Kirk, 27; Jamie Bailey, 44; Brandi Hall, 28; Joseph Crawford, 39; James Dixon, 39; and an unidentified man who goes by the names G-Whip and Big G.
Cities of residency for all suspects were not available Monday. Romero said police found that the Crips and Bloods put aside their feud "when it came to selling drugs and making a profit. The issue of red and blue went out the window," Romero said.
Crips members were seen "interacting" with members of the 4-5-6 Island Bloods. The latter is considered one of the most violent gangs in Pomona, Romero said.
Authorities said Monday after the news conference that they would continue their joint effort to fight drug-dealing and crime in Pomona and elsewhere.
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