Two more arrested in Dos Palos drive-by shooting

03/06/2014 8:51 PM

03/06/2014 8:52 PM

Two men were arrested this week in connection with a drive-by shooting last month in South Dos Palos, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported Thursday.

Three people have been arrested on suspicion of having roles in the Feb. 19 shooting in the 22000 block of Sixth Street that investigators have said was gang related.

No one was injured. Citing safety concerns because of suspected street gang connections in the case, deputies have declined to comment on the intended target of the shooting.

Daniel Geronimo Jr., 19, appeared in court briefly Wednesday, but his preliminary hearing was rescheduled for March 12 in Merced County Superior Court, according to the court clerk’s office.

Geronimo has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of assault with a firearm and criminal street gang participation, according to court records. He was still in custody Thursday on $100,000 bail, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Gilberto Cortez, 18, and Fernando Sigala, 19, were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of assault with a firearm. Both men were still in custody Thursday on $250,000 bail.

Detective Roberto Torres and the Sheriff’s Department’s Supervised Release Teams searched both Cortez’s and Sigala’s homes this week and found one firearm in each home, Deputy Delray Shelton said.

Deputies found a .22-caliber handgun and a .45-caliber handgun. They said testing would be conducted to determine whether either weapon was involved in the attack.

Investigators believe Geronimo was the driver in the shooting while Cortez and Sigala were passengers in the vehicle. Citing a need to protect their investigation, deputies declined to comment on questions regarding the shooter or shooters in the case, the type of firearm used or the number of shots fired.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department at (209) 385-7444. Callers can remain anonymous.

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