Another Studio City Suspect Nabbed in Operation Woodchuck

Mitchell Dennis Knox, 22, was arrested without incident in Tehachapi. Copy of indictment is also attached.

The from Studio City was arrested at a remote hideout in the Tehachapi foothills near Edwards Air Force Base and the California Correctional Institute, according to Christian Hoffman, public information officer of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

Mitchell Dennis Knox, 22, was arrested Thursday after the U.S. Marshals Central Valley Joint Fugitive Task Force acted on a tip about the hideout, said Hoffman, who is also a special agent for the ATF’s Los Angeles field division.

When deputies approached, Knox was standing at the doorway. He was arrested without incident.

Two additional suspects are at large in the year-long operation dubbed “Operation Woodchuck” which had an undercover ATF agent infiltrating a group that planned to sell illegal drugs and guns in the San Fernando Valley, Hoffman said.

The undercover agents said they bought stole machine guns, firearms and silencers.

The North Hollywood division of the Los Angeles Police Department participated in the investigation along with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Office of Correctional Safety-Special Service Unit. 

The Task Force spokesman Jason Ferrell said Knox was icharged with possession of a stolen vehicle and stolen property, he said. 

John A. Torres, ATF Special Agent in Charge, said, “This goes to show you that you can’t outrun the long arm of the law!”

Nine others were arrested Wednesday and the two other men at large are Elijah Brown, 38, of Los Angeles, and Hector Valles, 46, of Northridge.

A federal grand jury in Los Angeles issued indictments alleging crimes including a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of an unregistered machine gun, transfer of an unregistered machine gun in violation of the National Firearms Act, distribution of methamphetamine and possession of an unregistered firearm.

 City News Service contributed to this report.


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