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Neutered: The Rise and Fall of the Dog Pound Gang

 

SOUTHWEST FRESNO AS “BABY IRAQ”

Agents in Operation Dog Track received court authority to tap Dog Pound Gangster phone calls and electronic texts. More than 5,000 communications were monitored.

One of those conversations went thus, according to Smith’s affidavit.

Kenneth “Dook” Wharry: “Hey Blood, I think I’m hit my (N-word).”

Kenneth Johnson: “Huh?”

Wharry: “I think I’m hit.”

Kenneth Johnson: “Where you at (N-word)?”

Wharry: “I made them (N-word), I think them (N-word) dead.”

Kenneth Johnson: “Where you at?”

Wharry: “They shot my back window out (N-word). I ran them (N-word) off the road.”

Kenneth Johnson: “Where you at?”

Wharry: “I’m pulling up to my Daddy’s house, ah shit I think I am hit my (N-word).”

Kenneth Johnson: “Alright, where they at?”

End of call.

Thus began what an outsider might assume is a fundamental part of the Dog Pound Gangsters mission – violent retaliation against a rival “enterprise” bent on harming DPG’s human infrastructure.

This outsider might think the gang would already have in place a practiced process for immediately marshaling deadly resources and an action plan that would devastate the “enemy.”

Instead, judging by Smith’s affidavit, what followed was a DPG response that, despite its potentially deadly nature, was rather time-consuming. Still, the DPG response is the basis for the feds’ murder conspiracy charge.

The Wharry shooting happened around 7:20 p.m. on March 23, 2016. That’s when agents heard Wharry phone Trenell Monson to say he’d been shot.

Wharry’s phone call to Kenneth Johnson (described above) came two minutes later, Smith wrote.

The third phone call after the shooting was between Monson and Kiandre “P” Johnson.

Monson: “Go get my thing from the hood P, for me.”

Kiandre Johnson: “Get your thing from the hood?”

Monson: “Yeah, go get my thing from the hood.”

“Thing” is gang slang for gun, Smith wrote.

babyiraq

At about the same time Fresno police were responding to a hit-and-run traffic collision with shots fired in the 2200 block of South Nicholas Avenue. This area is about a half-mile from DPG’s home turf in Southwest Fresno, “The Pound.”

Officers found at the scene an African American male who, according to Smith’s affidavit, identified himself as a member of the Young Black Solider (YBS) gang. This gang, Smith wrote, is part of the TWAMP alliance.

The YBS gangbanger was next to his white Nissan sedan.

The geography in this part of Fresno is complex. There’s a confusing mix of highways (Highway 41, Highway 99, Golden State Boulevard), industrial parks, open fields, schools and houses.

According to Smith’s affidavit, the YBS gangbanger told officers the following tale.

The YBS gangbanger (the driver) and two other males – one sitting in front, the other in back – had exited southbound 99 and were moving onto Golden State. That’s when they noticed a black Chevy Tahoe pull up next to them. They thought the Tahoe belonged to Wharry.

Both cars continued south on Golden State. The YBS gangbanger said Wharry used the Tahoe to ram the Nissan. The YBS gangbanger said one of his passengers was armed and began shooting at Wharry’s Tahoe.

“The driver said he then lost control of the Nissan and his vehicle veered off the roadway,” Smith wrote. “The vehicle rolled over and came to rest in a front yard.”

The two passengers ran. The YBS gangbanger said both were members of his gang.

Police on the scene got a call from dispatch. Someone in a blue Honda had dropped off a shooting victim at Downtown’s Community Regional Medical Center.

Dog Pound gangsters spent the next hours frantically calling each other. The shooting was one topic. Another was Wharry’s condition. But, according to Smith’s affidavit, Topic A was getting a gun or an assault rifle – revenge.

Less than a half-hour after the Wharry shooting, Trenell Monson, a top Dog Pound gangster, told “T.M.” to “go to the scene over there on Golden State, go take pictures of the car, take pictures of the car, I want to see who the f— it is.”

Wharry, Monson and T.M. are siblings, Smith wrote. He described T.M. as an uncharged co-conspirator.

By about 8 p.m. Wharry was at the hospital, getting treatment for two wounds to his upper back and talking to police officers. According to Smith’s affidavit, Wharry said someone in a grey or white car had fired six shots at his car. Wharry said he looked into his rearview mirror and saw a car spin out of control.

Wharry was treated and released.

Elsewhere in Southwest Fresno, Monson was on the phone, telling K.P. (another uncharged co-conspirator) to head to the crash site and check out the rival gang’s wrecked car.

K.P. did as ordered.

“(N-word) there’s a hella polices right here (N-word),” K.P. said to Monson by phone.

Then T.M. showed up and called Monson.

“During the call, T.M. told Monson that she had been stopped by the police and almost arrested,” Smith wrote.

But K.P. and T.M. did their jobs – the shooter’s car was a white Nissan.

Dog Pound gangsters in the following days continued to talk about getting guns. Smith in his affidavit wrote that it appeared at one point that DPG members were about to shoot someone at Fink White Playground in West Fresno. Nothing happened, perhaps because gang members thought they were being trailed by police officers.

Someone got shot on April 4, 2016, but it was Kylin Baca, described by Smith as an associate of the Dog Pound Gangsters. The next day, agents learned through a tapped phone conversation that Wharry was carrying a gun. Other gang members continued to search for more firearms, Smith wrote.

On April 6 another male allegedly associated with Dog Pound Gangsters was shot by TWAMP gang members, Smith wrote. This was the third shooting in two weeks of DPG members or associates by TWAMP gang members – all in or near “The Pound.”

Top Dog Pound gangsters couldn’t believe their rivals would be so bold. One of them told Wharry “it’s Iraq over here.” DPG leaders were reassured to learn that their own gangsters had at least returned fire during the latest shooting.

On April 7, Kenneth Johnson called Deandre Stanfill, the Dog Pound Gangster serving time in Kern Valley State Prison. According to Smith’s affidavit, Kenneth Johnson said DPG so far had done nothing special in retaliation for the rival gangs’ shootings. Kenneth Johnson said “The Pound” was like “baby Iraq.”

According to Smith’s affidavit, Stanfill said there should be some “(N-word) on the slab.” Kenneth Johnson told Stanfill to stay tuned.

At about 10:30 a.m. on April 7, police officers were dispatched to Fink White Playground at the corner of Trinity Street and Whitesbridge Avenue.

“Officers on scene contacted two homeless witnesses… who both stated they observed approximately 5-6 Hispanic and African American males and females drinking under the covered pavilion located near the center of Fink White Playground,” Smith wrote. “Both witnesses stated that they heard approximately 12 gunshots, which were coming from the north end of the park. As the shooting occurred, they observed the subjects under the pavilion begin running south through the park. Both witnesses said they did not see the shooters.”

Smith wrote that officers found no victims or property damage.

Smith alleges monitored phone calls show that the shooters were Dog Pound gangsters. Smith wrote that one of the calls involved a DPG member and a woman identified only as UF306. The woman had had enough of cars getting shot up in West Fresno, especially when one of the shot-up vehicles belonged to someone she loves.

“What if my baby was in that car?” UF306 said.

George Hostetter is The Sun’s Fresno Civic contributor – covering the City of Fresno, County of Fresno, and Fresno Council of Governments.

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