(Press Release) While investigating a shooting that occurred at Santa Clara and E Streets, Fresno Police Department detectives learned of an extortion racket that was occurring in the area. As they investigated further, it was learned that West Fresno Norteno gang members who lived in the area of E and Los Angeles were extorting money from the homeless, who had set up their tents nearby. After further investigation, it appeared that the extortion began sometime in May 2012.
Detectives were able to identify three gang members who were directly involved with the crime from its inception. They suspects were identified as 32-year-old Ivan Rangel, 30-year-old Aldo Limon, and 24-year-old Joseph Juarez. Police say they were directly involved in the intimidation, and collection of money during the extortion racket.
Rangel was already in custody for the shooting at Santa Clara and E Streets on May 28, 2012. The extortion charges were added while he was in custody.
On September 12, 2012, the Fresno Police Department’s SWAT served four search warrants at 162 E Street, 213 E Street, 222 E Street, and 2157 S. Lily. During the search warrants, Aldo Limon was taken in custody and booked into Fresno County Jail. One rifle, one high capacity rifle magazine, ammunition, and evidence linking the gang to the extortion was recovered. On September 14, 2012, the Fresno County District Attorney filed extortion and gang enhancement charges against Limon and Rangel.
Joseph Juarez was taken in custody on October 1st by plain clothes V.C.I.T. officers. He was booked in Fresno County Jail and on Wednesday the Fresno County District Attorney filed extortion and gang enhancement charges against Juarez.