Three men accused in a gang-related assault in Palm Springs late last year are scheduled to make their initial court appearances Friday.
Angel Valtierra, 22, Anthony Jose Lopez, 21, and Nathan Roldan Ramirez, 21, are each charged with felony assault and participating in a criminal street gang. Ramirez additionally faces a felony charge of witness intimidation.
All three men remained out of custody awaiting arraignment at the Larson Justice Center in Indio on Friday morning.
According to the Palm Springs Police Department, the three suspects are accused of beating another man on Nov. 3, 2020, at the Santiago Sunrise Mobile Home Park, in the 1500 block of East San Rafael.
Patrol officers responded about 6 p.m. that evening and found an injured man who reported being attacked by several people. Prosecutors allege the attack was gang-related.
The three men were arrested in December 2020 during a multi-agency sweep targeting a Coachella Valley street gang thought to be involved in dozens of shootings and three homicides reported in Palm Springs over the summer.
More than 100 law enforcement officers served search warrants at a dozen locations in and around Palm Springs targeting the Barrio San Rafael gang during the operation, according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
Law enforcement targeted the gang after a violent feud with a rival in and near the Desert Highlands Gateway Estates neighborhood which Palm Springs Police Department Chief Bryan Reyes has said was responsible for an uptick in crime.
The operation was orchestrated by the Riverside County Gang Impact Team, which includes law enforcement personnel from various local, state and federal agencies, in conjunction with the Palm Springs Police Department.
No weapons were seized during the predawn operation, but the District Attorney’s Office said stolen property and items related to gang activity were collected.
Gang violence in and around Desert Highlands Gateway Estates led to at least three deaths over the summer and dozens of shootings, according to authorities.
The last publicized fatality was a 15-year-old boy who was fatally shot in the 300 block of Avenida Cerca on Aug. 26, 2020. Two others were also injured in the shootout.
On July 31, two people, ages 17 and 21, were fatally wounded in the area of Palm Vista and Granada Avenue in Palm Springs. They died a short while later at a hospital.
Authorities say Barrio San Rafael was connected to each of these drive-by shootings.
None of the three men have any documented felony convictions in Riverside County.