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Drug sales near school lead to two arrests

Police have broken up what they believed was a drug-selling operation directly across the street from Don Stowell Elementary School in South Merced.

Officer Joe Henderson of the Merced Police Department's Gang Violence Suppression Unit said officers had information that a parolee was selling narcotics at his house. As a result, two Merced brothers were arrested on narcotics charges at around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the house they were occupying at 1215 E St. The elementary school is located at 251 E. 11th St.

Henderson said Sgt. Curt Gorman, gang unit supervisor, stopped Enrique Vera's car near his house. Jamie, a police drug K-9, found crystal methamphetamine in the car. A subsequent parole search of the house revealed 20 pill bottles filled with 39 bindles of crystal meth, along with four bottles containing 60 Vicodin pills, more than an ounce of marijuana, hashish, $500 in cash, used and unused bags used to hold drugs and six scales.

Henderson said he watched the Vera house for 10 minutes and six different people came by to purchase drugs during that time.

"It's very good to have that cleared out there. The traffic was very high," Henderson said.

Enrique Vera, 60, and Ruben Vera, 57, were arrested on felony charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of meth for sale, possession of a controlled substance, possession of more than an ounce of marijuana and sales of meth in a school zone, along with a parole hold. Enrique Vera was also charged with transportation of meth. Enrique Vera was being held in Merced County Jail without bail on a parole hold, and Ruben Vera was being held in lieu of $87,250 bail, according to a correctional official.