The Stockton Record reports (http://bit.ly/VF2G2u) that a San Joaquin County grand jury handed down the indictments Tuesday.
The indictments came after a multi-agency November gang investigation targeting area Norteno gangs that led to 39 arrests.
Prosecutor Caitlin Casey said what started as a wiretap operation quickly bloomed into a drug and gun trafficking probe. The investigation discovered the defendants with high-powered firearms, heroin and methamphetamine, Casey said.
Fifteen defendants appeared Tuesday, and another eight had also been detained in November and others released.
Authorities are still looking into another seven people connected to the case.
The Nortenos were targeted because of rising violence among the gangs.
Information from: The Record, http://www.recordnet.com/