Last week’s multi-agency gang sweep through Reedley was a clear signal that the Reedley Police Department is committed to putting a dent into violence in the community — at least among those affiliated with or who have suspected ties to gangs, violence or drugs.

Working in partnership with 12 law enforcement agencies in Fresno County, RPD targeted 50 locations around the city and ultimately made 11 arrests during a May 1 operation. But what really was telling was the haul of weapons — 33 firearms and 100 rounds of various caliber of ammunition. While many of the weapons are legal to possess by the everyday citizen, the 20 found at David Yama’s residence did not fall under that category. Police Chief Joe Garza said that Yama is a convicted felon and a known gang member, and those weapons he possessed were in clear violation to terms of his probation.

As a result, Yamad was arrested on a variety of felony charges. Ten other Reedley residents also were taken into custody, all for various charges. Garza was candid about the operation, saying the cache of weapons seized was the most he had seen in one house in his 30 years with the Reedley police. It also was the biggest one-day hauled he’s experienced in his law enforcement career.

Action was justified, as the city has seen too much violence in recent months  including two shooting incidents in a single day. “That was a signal to us that we needed to do something about the violence that was taking place here,” Garza said.

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