Dozens of Suspects Arrested, 21 Firearms Seized after 6-Month Stanislaus County Investigation

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MODESTO — Dozens of people have been arrested as part of an effort to dismantle alleged Norteño street gang activity in Stanislaus County.

The suspects were charged with a wide variety of crimes including: conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and robbery, attempted murder, drug trafficking, firearms violations, and gang enhancements.

The multi-agency operation known as Operation Red Desert, also resulted in the seizure of $15,950, 21 firearms and various amounts of heroin, methamphetamines, marijuana, ecstasy and hydrocodone.

“Our goal at the beginning of this was to really, as I said before, really get at the root cause. A lot of the time we treat the symptom, we investigate cases,” said Modesto Police Captain, Brandon Gillespie.

Authorities said their investigation began in February 2019 after the county began seeing an increase in unsolved homicides and robberies.

“Individuals who engage in criminal activity and sow fear in our communities must be brought to justice,” said Attorney General Becerra in a press release. “California law enforcement will continue working together day and night to stop violent, dangerous behavior and keep our communities safe.”

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