Three men with connections to Planada were arrested this week in two separate incidents for allegedly selling methamphetamine, according to police.
The Merced Police Department’s Gang Violence Suppression Unit “developed information” that a man was selling drugs from the Siesta Motel in Merced, according to police. Officers served a search warrant at his room about 11:36 p.m. on Thursday, a news release said.
In the room in the 1300 block of West 16th Street were several people as well as a loaded revolver, ammunition and methamphetamine, police said. Officers arrested 24-year-old Jonathan Zamora, who was described as a gang member, on suspicion of firearm and drug crimes.
He was later booked at the Merced County Jail, where he remained Friday in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to jail records.
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The Siesta Motel has been known as a place rife with prostitution and drug crimes. In February 2017, a Merced County judge issued a permanent injunction against the owners and operators of the Siesta Motel, requiring them to take steps to end years of assaults, drug crimes and robberies for an area prosecutors have described as “a hub of prostitution.”
The previous day about 10 a.m. the same police unit said they arrested 49-year-old Gabriel Andrade and 41-year-old Jesus Moreno in Dana Court and Ayala Court in Planada, respectively, for allegedly selling methamphetamine.
Moreno remains in custody in lieu of $270,000 bail and Andrade is no longer in custody, according to jail records.
Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this incident to contact Gang Violence Suppression Unit Sgt. Brian Rodriguez at 209-385-4710 or GVSU@cityofmerced.org or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at 209-385-4725. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and including the word “Comvip” as the “keyword” in the text message.