MERCED -- Merced County sheriff's deputies arrested 12 suspected gang members in Planada on Thursday night.
The sweep was in response to a drive-by shooting that happened less than two weeks ago in Planada between rival gang members, said Tom MacKenzie, sheriff's spokesman.
The Sheriff's Department, California Highway Patrol and Merced County Probation Department visited 50 homes of suspected gang members in Planada and Le Grand.
All of the visits were to people on probation or parole.
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A dozen people were arrested on public intoxication, parole violations, narcotics possession and weapons charges, among others.
Five people were charged with participating in a criminal street gang and two were registered sex offenders.
The drive-by shooting that sparked the crackdown happened Feb. 9 at 7:45 p.m. in Planada.
Deputy Rosalie Ramos was outside a market in Planada when she heard gunshots and saw a blue Lincoln speed past. It was chased by a black Chevy Impala, according to MacKenzie.
Ramos pursued the vehicles through Planada, but they refused to pull over, MacKenzie said. During the pursuit, Ramos saw the driver of the Impala ram the Lincoln near Live Oak Street and Childs Avenue.
Ramos lost track of the cars on Childs Avenue, but Merced police later found a car matching the description of the blue Lincoln at a South Merced residence on Sonoma Street near Archangel Avenue.
Police and deputies went to the home, and several people were detained, although none was arrested.
A .38-caliber revolver was found in the flower box of the residence, MacKenzie said.
Investigators determined that the black Impala belonged to 30-year-old Gabriel Saldana. Deputies went to a residence in the 100 block of Arguello Drive in Planada and interviewed Saldana.
He admitted to being involved in the chase and ramming the blue Lincoln, MacKenzie said, but gave no further information.
Saldana was booked at the Merced County Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon Feb. 10.