Gang sweep nets seven, task force officers say
In a gang sweep this week, officers from nine Santa Cruz County law enforcement agencies teamed up and arrested seven people on various charges, the county Gang Task Force announced late Friday.
The most serious crime uncovered in Wednesday's operation came when officers found a 14-year-old suspected gang member walking on Clifford Avenue in Watsonville while carrying a loaded handgun, said the task force supervisor, sheriff's Sgt. Stefan Fish.
Other weapons-related arrests were that of two Watsonville teens carrying knives in violation of their probation terms -- Marshall Hernandez, 18, and an unidentified 17-year-old, Fish said.
Parolee Michael Chavera, 33, of Santa Cruz was arrested on Monterey Street off West Cliff Drive on suspicion of possessing cocaine, Fish said.
Other arrests included the capture of Alex Magallanes, 29, of Santa Cruz, for a misdemeanor warrant and the apprehension of Miguel Silva, 28, of Santa Cruz for allegedly possessing a hypodermic syringe and violating his probation terms, officer said. An unidentified man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, Fish said.
Officers conducted 21 probation searches and two parole searches of known gang members, he said.
The Joint Agency Gang Operation was one of several ongoing suppression efforts in response to continuing gang violence, Fish said. Participating were the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, Watsonville, Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley police departments, California Highway Patrol, Santa Cruz County Probation Department and the county Anti-Crime and Auto Theft Recovery teams.