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Neutered: The Rise and Fall of the Dog Pound Gang

 

YOUTH SHALL NOT BE DENIED

You’ve got to fight to get to the top of the Dog Pound Gangsters. Once there, watch your back.

That message comes through loud and clear in Smith’s affidavit. One of the sections describes several cell phone calls between various DPG honchos and Deandre “Dre” Stanfill.

These honchos are on the streets of Fresno, living the good life. They’re giving orders and advancing the interests of Dog Pound Gangsters. They’re establishing and affirming their authority within DPG.

That’s what happens when there’s a vacuum in the leadership of any organization, including one alleged to be a criminal street gang.

Stanfill, on the other hand, is behind bars at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano. Smith described Stanfill as “an upper level DPG member” who allegedly has been directing DPG activities from his cell. Or trying to.

Chief Dyer at his news conference said inmates aren’t allowed to have cell phones.

Stanfill and Kenneth “Dook” Wharry chatted by phone in the early evening of March 18, 2016. They began by gossiping a bit about the old hometown.

“Hey, who was that (N-word) that got knocked down at West Side Market the other day?” Stanfill asked, referring to a shooting at a West Fresno grocery store on Elm Avenue.

Wharry hadn’t heard about the shooting. Stanfill learned of it from TV.

“That motherf—er got smacked at the West Side Market,” Stanfill said.

Wharry had been busy with business.

“You still out giving her a running?” Stanfill said.

“Yeah,” Wharry said.

“Dook, you done talked into a pimp huh?” Stanfill said.

“I do it all man,” Wharry said.

The West Side Market shooting was still on Stanfill’s mind. For some reason, it made him fear a weakening of the virtues that had made Dog Pound Gangsters great.

Stanfill: “The dude that got hit up at the market was a Muhammad” (one of DPG’s rival gangs).

Wharry: “Hopefully it was a fool.”

Stanfill: “Yeah for real, on everything, you know what I mean, but the little homies got, you know what I mean, they got to be ready because (N-word) will try to slide….You know what I mean, man you can’t be playing, you got to keep the pressure on, the (N-word) gonna be at it.”

Wharry: “Yes sir.”

Stanfill: “Them (N-word) cared anything about it, them (N-word) wasn’t doing it like we was doing it….”

Wharry: “Nah, they not like how we done it.”

Stanfill: “Hell nah man, them (N-word) wasn’t, man, know what I mean, man we was, man it was on, (N-word) already knew, (N-word) were just scared.”

Wharry: “One class (N-word).”

Stanfill: “Man I’m telling you (N-word), they was talking about that shit today.”

Wharry: “(N-word) would ride every day (N-word).”

Stanfill: “Every day, two, three times a day….We had the whole town scared.”

Wharry: “Hell yeah (N-word) when we used to.”

Stanfill: “Man them (N-word) talked about that shit today on the yard, them other side (N-word) said, you know what I mean, you got some other side (N-word) like, you all pound (N-word), boy you all (N-word) some mean ass (N-word). I’m gonna be honest with you (N-word), some other side (N-word) said, I’m gonna be honest with you (N-word), I’m glad I was in jail around that time, (N-word) probably would have got smacked.”

Wharry: “Yeah.”

Smith in a footnote to his affidavit boiled this exchange down to a recognizable clarity: “Based on my training and experience and knowledge of this investigation, I believe that Stanfill was conveying to Wharry that he (Wharry) needed to get the young Dog Pound gang members organized in order to uphold the violent reputation of the Dog Pound gang.”

According to Smith’s affidavit, Stanfill worried about his waning influence among Dog Pound Gangsters besides just the rookies – such as Wharry himself.

Wharry apologized for recently calling James York, a high-ranking Dog Pound Gangster, and not calling Stanfill at the same time.

“I was gonna holla at you later,” Wharry said.

Stanfill said he’d been told by others that Wharry had been a “bullshitting dude, you know what I mean, either get a money back (N-word), you know what I mean, make this shit happen man, that brotha paid 30 thousand (N-word), you sittin there playing games, now come on man.”

“I’ll get on that ASAP,” Wharry said.

Smith wrote that the $30,000 refers to a legal fund. Smith wrote that “portions of the money Wharry and other Dog Pound members make from their criminal activities helps to support other Dog Pound gang members incarcerated, as well as the gang as a whole.”

Stanfill at one point in the conversation said he should have been out of prison two years ago.

Perhaps that gnawing frustration at being stuck behind bars while Dog Pound Gangsters moved on without him explains why Stanfill wouldn’t let the $30,000 defense fund issue slide.

Stanfill: “Shit, you know I mean I’m your coach and you the star player man, so let’s just play man, and know what I mean to get paid, quit playing.”

Wharry wasn’t the only Dog Pound Gangster to talk by phone with Stanfill on March 18. Shortly after 10 p.m. that day, York got hold of Stanfill.

Wharry is a big shot on the DPG organizational chart. But, as Chief Dyer said at the news conference, York was probably the gang’s top leader on the streets.

York told Stanfill about driving by Kern Valley State Prison that day.

“Oh man, I passed you right there in Delano man,” York said.

Replied Stanfill: “I wish you could’ve stopped and picked a (N-word) up boy.”

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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