STOCKTON (CBS SF) — State law enforcement officials have busted up a major Stockton crime operation tied to the notorious Norteño street gang, arresting 50 people, seizing an arsenal of illegal weapons and 25 pounds of drugs, authorities announced Tuesday.
The arrests culminated a three-month long investigation that began in August 2019 and targeted gang members involved in crimes ranging from attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and the possession and sale of firearms.
State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones, and San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar announced the results of the operation at a Tuesday morning news conference.
“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,” Salazar said in a news release. “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.”
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 10-year-old who was shot while playing in a backyard.
Among the seized items where eight assault weapons and the drug haul included fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine.