Fifteen gang members arrested

Fifteen members of the Merced Gangster Crips, a local street gang, were busted on conspiracy, weapons and drug charges Monday. The arrests capped a five-month investigation spearheaded by the Merced Multi-Agency Gang Task Force.

News of the arrests was released by Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse II during a Tuesday news conference.

The Merced Gangster Crips is the gang associated with the 2004 shooting death of Merced Police officer Stephan Gray. The investigation began five months ago, after Merced police learned that one of their officers was the target of a hit organized by the gang, Morse said.

A Merced County special grand jury returned 16 indictments this month, resulting in Monday's arrests. One suspect remains at large.