Activist known for protecting street vendors 'manipulated the public' as 'influencer,' Sheriff says

A man known for protecting Los Angeles street vendors is accused by the San Bernardino County Sheriff of being a "ringleader" of a series of attacks taking place at protests and using his social media persona to manipulate the public.

For years Enamorado has been a defender of street vendors who are attacked or racially discriminated.. but law enfocrment say that is not true. 

Edin "Alex" Enamorado, who was previously featured by FOX 11 in September 2022, was among the eight people who were arrested in connection to Victorville Police Department's "Operation Accountability." The group arrested in the police investigation allegedly used "racism to threaten and intimidate their victims, causing them to get on their knees to beg for forgiveness while still assaulting them," according to Sheriff Shannon Dicus, who presented the findings of Victorville PD's investigations to the public Thursday.

"What this group does is not protected by the First Amendment. It's illegal," Dicus said.

The sheriff said helping street vendors and victims of attack isn't the real motive Enamorado and the seven others have.

"This group manipulates videos and photos on social media in an attempt to make them look like protectors of under-represented people. This group is not about substance for the human condition, it's clickbait for cash," Dicus added. 

So what did Enamorado and the seven suspects allegedly do? The group is accused of a brutal attack during a protest in Victorville back on September 24, 2023 – prompting the city's police department to launch an investigation. The investigation led Victorville PD to also link Enamorado and his fellow suspects to additional alleged assaults taking place at other demonstrations held in both Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

Edin Enamorado. PHOTO: San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Edin Enamorado. PHOTO: San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Below are the suspects arrested in Operation Accountability:

  • Edin Alex Enamorado, 36, of Upland
  • Wendy Lujan, 40, of Upland
  • David Chavez, 28, of Riverside
  • Stephanie Amesquita, 33, of San Bernardino
  • Gullit Eder Acevedo, 30, of San Bernardino
  • Edwin Pena, 26, of Los Angeles
  • Fernando Lopez, 44, of Los Angeles
  • Vanessa Carrasco, 40, of Ontario

Following the news of Enamorado's arrest, his attorney issued the following statement, in part:

"The arrests of the Victorville eight, including Edin Alex Enamorado, were clearly done in retaliation for activists exercising their First Amendment rights. Criticizing elected officials and law enforcement officers should never be criminalized and that is what the Sheriff's department has done in this case. I will be in court Monday to fight these baseless charges vigorously."

Dicus accused Enamorado the "ringleader" of the series of reported violence allegedly taking place at Southern California protests.

"Videos of the truth were manipulated and put out to the public to make it look like an underserved population was being represented, kind of ‘Robin-Hood ish,’ when in fact there was felonious activity behind this," Dicus said. "The more clicks they get, the more money they make as it relates to how the systems that they operate within work. They're more about not substance for what their issues are, but really getting that clickbait and making money off of that, just like any Internet influencer."