Four people were arrested by Sheriff's Tactical and Reconnaissance, or STAR, Team members on drug charges in three separate incidents Monday.
Deputy Kevin Blake of the Merced County Sheriff's Department said Toua Her, 32, of Merced, was arrested by STAR Team members in the 3900 block of North Santa Fe Drive after a Winchester rifle, 12-gauge shotgun, 9-millimeter handgun, ammunition, 45 grams of crystal methamphetamine, four grams of marijuana, $500 in cash, digital scales and drug-packaging materials were discovered.
Blake said Her's vehicle was stopped in the 2900 block of Elm Street in the Beachwood area after a surveillance was conducted. He was arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of meth for sale, transportation of a controlled substance, maintaining a house where drugs are used or sold, possession of marijuana for sale, possession of a loaded handgun accessible to children and child endangerment.
Her remained in Merced County Jail on Monday night in lieu of $110,000 bail, according to a correctional official. Blake said a 2-year-old boy, 3-year-old girl, 8-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy were at the house.
In a separate incident, Isaiah Coronado, 23, and Natalie Mayorga, 25, both of Merced, were arrested on drug charges in the 100 block of West 11th Street in Merced after a search warrant was served. Blake said the house was filthy and in disarray.
Four Tylenol-codeine pills were located along with a digital scale, packaging material, $500 in cash and empty plastic bags that once contained crystal meth. Four children, from 2 to 8 years of age, were placed in the custody of Child Protective Services following the arrests.
Coronado and Mayorga were arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sale and felony child endangerment, Blake said. Both remained in Merced County Jail on Monday night in lieu of $35,000 bail each, according to a correctional official.
Coronado is a validated Norteno criminal street gang member, Blake said.
In a separate incident, Rosario Gutierrez, 49, of Merced, was arrested in the 1100 block of West 11th Street after a search warrant was served. Blake said digital scales, packaging materials, three loaded handguns and ammunition and several swords were discovered, along with $20,000 in cash, seized under asset-forfeiture laws.
Gutierrez was arrested on charges of child endangerment and having a gun accessible to children. He remained jailed Monday night in lieu of $55,000 bail, according to a correctional official.
Blake said the sheriff's department Narcotics Enforcement Team and state parole agents assisted in the arrests, which followed a weeklong investigation.
Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2485 or firstname.lastname@example.org.