Sixty-eight guns, 30 pounds of meth and other illegal drugs all off the streets and now bagged and tagged for evidence as part of a three-month investigation that came to a head on Wednesday.
“...and today we’ve made a difference. We’ve taken the (gang) leaders off of the streets,” Mark Dennings, a deputy district attorney for San Joaquin County, said Thursday.
The Stockton Police Department, along with the FBI and other agencies worked together to identity two of what they’re calling the most violent gangs in Stockton -- the South Side Stockton gang and the Triple Six Gangsters.
“This type of collaborative response through the use of allied resources is an invaluable tool to reducing crime in the City of Stockton,” Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said.
Seventy-six people were also arrested as part of the operation, including Valentin Vivero and Benny Casteneda.
“Valentine Vivero is a documented gang member of the Triple Six Gangsters,” Dennings said.
The two were arrested in connection to the July homicide of Ray Ortega, a documented rival gang member, who was fatally shot on the 400 block of McCloud Avenue in July, according to investigators.
But this violent crime investigation may be just one of many.
“Most of these weapons were taken down yesterday, so testing is underway as we speak,” Dennings said.
He explained that the weapons may be linked to other violent crimes that have happened in Stockton.
“I can’t tell you how much more is out there, I can only tell you that today’s not it, and we’re not going to stop,” Dennings said.
The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office added that all of those arrested will be charged with felony crimes and are all facing serious prison time.