OPERATION "WALK IN THE PARK"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 26, 2022
Officer Ryan J. Railsback
Public Information Officer
Community Services Bureau
(951) 373-6032 (Media Contact)
OPERATION “WALK IN THE PARK”
(To view the live-streamed joint agency press conference from Thursday, May 26, 2022, click on the link below)
RIVERSIDE, CA – On Wednesday, May 25, 2022 and in partnership with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, and the California Department of Justice’s Special Operations Unit, a gang takedown operation was conducted related to two homicides that occurred in Riverside and Moreno Valley in 2020.
The Riverside Police Department began a homicide investigation on December 22, 2020 after 32-year-old Cedric Omarr Dempsey was found deceased from a gunshot wound at Bordwell Park, located in the 2000 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard.
During their investigation, detectives assigned to our Robbery-Homicide Unit and Gang Intelligence Unit were able to connect Mr. Dempsey’s murder to a local criminal street gang. They also discovered gang members from this murder were possibly related to a murder that occurred in Moreno Valley months prior and was being investigated by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department began their homicide investigation on June 7, 2020 after 43-year-old Kevin Henderson was found deceased from a gunshot wound in the 24000 block of Myers Avenue in Moreno Valley.
Along with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, California Highway Patrol, and the California Department of Justice’s Special Operations Unit, both agencies began a coordinated investigation to identify those involved in these two murders and their gang associates. Their joint efforts included multiple search warrants, neighborhood canvasses, witness interviews, forensic examination of evidence, reviewing surveillance footage, and other investigative actions.
On May 6, 2022, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Central Homicide Unit investigators arrested and booked Darnell Frederick Tate, 32-years-old of Moreno Valley, into the Robert Presley Detention Center for his involvement in the murder of Kevin Henderson.
On May 21, 2022, Riverside Police Robbery-Homicide Unit and Gang Intelligence Unit detectives arrested and booked Arthur Lawrence Akins III, 50-years-old of Riverside, into the Robert Presley detention center for the murder of Mr. Dempsey.
Central Homicide Unit Investigators are in the process of adding additional murder charges on Akins for his involvement in the murder of Mr. Henderson.
Yesterday on Wednesday, May 25th, 21 search warrants and 4 probation/parole searches were conducted in the cities of Riverside, Rialto, Alhambra, San Bernardino, Victorville, Bellflower, Moreno Valley, Grand Terrace, Corona, Hesperia, Fontana, Highland, and Perris. As a result, 10 handguns, 3 rifles, approximately 2 pounds of suspected heroin, one-half pound of suspected cocaine, one-half pound of suspected methamphetamine, approximately 200 suspected MDMA pills (ecstasy), approximately 8 pounds of marijuana, and a large amount of cash were seized.
In addition to the 2 arrests for murder and 9 arrests from yesterday’s takedown operation, 17 felony arrests in total have been made and 55 firearms, including 6 “ghost guns” and 3 assault rifles, seized from gang members that can no longer be used to harm members of our community because of this entire collaborative investigation.
One other notable arrest made in April resulted from a search warrant executed in the Canyon Crest neighborhood of Riverside. 37-year-old John Wrinkle was suspected of manufacturing and selling firearms to gang members. During the search, detectives recovered 11 rifles and shotguns, 28 handguns, approximately 2 pounds of suspected Fentanyl pills, and over 50 pounds of marijuana. Of those handguns, 5 were considered “ghost guns” and the 3D printer used to make them was also seized.
Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez stated, “I can’t stress enough the dedication from all the investigators who literally spent thousands of hours on this case. This was truly a collaboration and we could not be more thankful for the professional working relationships we have with all the agencies involved.”
Yesterday’s efforts were successful and safe in part due to the following SWAT and tactical teams from our partner law enforcement agencies:
- Riverside Police Department
- Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
- Riverside County District Attorney’s Office Gang Impact Team
- California Highway Patrol
- California Department of Justice Special Operations Unit
- San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department SWAT & High Desert Gang Task Force
- Corona Police Department
- Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department
- Inland Violent Crime Suppression Task Force
- Coachella Valley Violent Gang Task Force
- Inland Valley SWAT Team
- Alhambra Police Department
“This two-year-long investigation into a dangerous street gang would not have been successful without the collaborative efforts of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the Riverside Police Department, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Justice,” stated Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco. “The impact gang violence has on innocent victims has no place in any community and we will continue to relentlessly pursue gangs with the strongest possible response by law enforcement.”
“Criminal street gangs continue to be a danger to public safety,” said Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin. “Not only do they spread violence, but that also are now dealing fentanyl which continues to be an epidemic killing people in our communities.”
“For families, nothing is more important than having the peace of mind to know that the neighborhoods children play in and the community where they live and work is safe,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Today’s operation is one step toward healing the Riverside community from the ills of gun violence. While we can never replace the lives taken by this violent gang, we hope that today’s announcement will bring some justice for the families and community left behind. I thank our DOJ agents and law enforcement partners in Riverside for their incredible work in getting these dangerous individuals off our streets. Tonight, Riverside families can sleep safer as a result of this operation.”