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Gang members nabbed for drug possession

Merced police arrested a known parolee and gang member Monday afternoon following a brief struggle and another parolee also was detained on drug charges in a separate incident.

Lt. Floyd Higdon of the Merced Police Department said Victor Joseph Duran, 37, of Merced was arrested at 3:59 p.m. on charges of possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics for sale, possession of a dangerous weapon, resisting arrest, parole violation and gang enhancements in the 800 block of M Street.

Officers Moses Nelson and Mike Sterling were patrolling M Street when they observed Duran, a known parolee and gang member. It took about a minute to subdue Duran and no injuries were reported.

A packet of methamphetamine was found in his pocket, and a second packet was located on the porch, both weighing a total of 3.1 grams. He also had an illegal knife, Higdon said.

Michael Maines, 21, and Abel Salinas, 25, both of Merced, were arrested at 12:54 p.m. on drug charges.

Higdon said Officer Jason Hart was patrolling the 1400 block of Conestoga Drive when he saw a vehicle parked on the wrong side of the street. Hart learned both Maines and Salinas were gang members. A small amount of marijuana and hashish was found on Maines. Salinas' parole agent said Salinas had violated terms of his parole by associating with a gang member. Both men were booked into Merced County Jail.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at 209-385-2485 or