STOCKTON – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones, and San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar today announced the arrest of 50 individuals; the seizure of 42 firearms, including 8 assault weapons; and the seizure of approximately 25 pounds of drugs, including fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine as part of a takedown of gang members in Stockton.
This operation targeted criminal activities by the Norteño street gang. The arrests are a result of a three-month long investigation that began in August 2019. The alleged criminal activities included attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and the possession and sale of firearms.
“At the California Department of Justice, protecting public safety in our neighborhoods and communities is our top priority,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Thanks to a collaborative effort with the Stockton Police Department and many other law enforcement agencies, Stockton’s streets are a little bit safer tonight. We will continue to work with our partners to bring criminal street gangs to justice.”
"By partnering with our allied law enforcement agencies, this type of collaborative response is an invaluable tool in our efforts to reduce crime in the city of Stockton," said Chief Jones. "I want to thank our State, and local law enforcement partners for their willingness to work alongside the men and women of the Stockton Police Department and together put countless hours of good, solid, police work that resulted in numerous arrests of violent gang members and the seizure of a great number of weapons and narcotics."
“I am grateful to Attorney General Becerra, the Department of Justice, and all of our local law enforcement partners for their important roles in removing from our streets those intent on creating harm in the community,” said District Attorney Verber Salazar. “Collectively, we have chosen to focus our efforts on those few among us bent on committing acts of serious violence and the enablers who assist them in doing so. Intelligence-driven prosecution and intelligence-driven policing allow us to focus on this small group of people who are responsible for the majority of the harm to our community. Collaborative and interdependent investigations like these are critical in our efforts to make our community safer and to communicate the message to those on the fence that if you pick up a gun and use it to commit a crime in our community, we’re coming for you.”
The operation was the product of a joint investigation by the California Department of Justice and California Highway Patrol, Special Operations Unit, the Stockton Police Department Gang Violence Suppression Unit, and the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office. As a result of the investigation, agents were able to identify the suspects wanted in connection with the shooting of a ten-year-old who was shot while playing in a backyard.
The Special Operations Unit is a collaborative investigative effort between the California Department of Justice and the California Highway Patrol that provides statewide enforcement for combating violent career criminals, gangs, and organized crime groups, along with intrastate drug traffickers. These unique and essential teams use the latest technology and advanced investigative techniques and work alongside local law enforcement to enhance investigations into violent criminals and organized crime throughout the state.
It is important to note that a criminal complaint contains charges that are only allegations against a person. Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.