MODESTO — Federal authorities and local law enforcement arrested 13 people in a two-day sweep that concluded Wednesday, targeting people in Modesto, Turlock, Ceres and Hilmar suspected of ties to a notorious Northern California gang.
The operation was led by the Central Valley Gang Impact Team Task Force, a federally funded group of investigators from local, state and federal police agencies.
Authorities say those arrested are members or associates of the Nuestra Familia prison gang or its street-level gang, the Norteños. The accusations included in a federal indictment against seven men involve a suspected methamphetamine trafficking operation.
State charges against six other people arrested in the two-day sweep include suspected involvement in Stanislaus County crimes such as murder, attempted murder, burglary and drug charges.
"Criminal street gangs are a permeating blight wherever they operate, and it is vitally important that we work together to rid the community of them," said Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager.
She said some of the local charges are linked to the Dec. 30 shooting death of David Hernandez, 35, in front of his grandmother's South Avenue home in Turlock. Specific information was not available Wednesday.
Ernesto Negrete was arrested several hours after the fatal shooting and has been charged with Hernandez's murder. He has been in custody since then.
Fladager said a 10-month investigation into Norteño criminal gang activity resulted in the arrests of some on suspicion of attempted murder. A criminal complaint, however, had not yet been filed in court Wednesday, so Fladager said she could not release any further information about those alleged crimes.
She said she anticipated the local charges would be filed formally today or Friday in Stanislaus County Superior Court.
Arrested on local warrants were the following:
Jesus Manuel Aispuro, also known as "Chuy," 18, and Jarred Elkins, 18, both of Turlock, and a 17-year-old juvenile from Hilmar on charges of attempted murder with a gang enhancement; Brian Gonzales, also known as "Troubles," 36, of Turlock on charges of attempted murder and burglary; Jorge Trevino, 40, of Turlock on a charge of sale of methamphetamine; and Steven Parga, also known as "Silent," 19, of Turlock on charges of conspiracy to transport marijuana and conspiracy to bring drugs into a custodial facility.
Those facing state charges were being held at the Stanislaus County Jail on Wednesday night. Bail amounts were set at $750,000 for Aispuro, $800,000 for Gonzales, $420,000 for Parga, $100,000 for Trevino and $750,000 for Elkins.
The teenage boy arrested was being held at the Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall. His name was not released because he is a minor.
The Merced County Sheriff's Department SWAT team served a search warrant at a Hilmar home, but it could not be confirmed whether the 17-year-old suspect was found there.
Earlier this month, a federal grand jury indicted the seven other suspects arrested in the sweep.