Monthlong gang sweep nets 10 arrests in Livingston

A coordinated police sweep in Livingston targeting suspected gang members resulted in six arrests, the Livingston Police Department reported Thursday.

The campaign capped off a month-long effort to keep criminal street gangs in check in Livingston netted nearly a dozen arrests total, Chief Ruben Chavez said.

“It’s been pretty quiet here lately and that’s the way we’d like to keep it,” Chavez said.

On Wednesday, Livingston police coordinated a series of stops with the Merced County Probation Department and the state parole office, the Police Department said in a news release.

Officers arrested numerous suspected gang members on charges ranging from firearms possession by a felon to possession of marijuana for sale and resisting arrest, according to the police statement.

During the campaign, officers arrested 23-year-old Angel Flores on Dec. 17 after police found a loaded firearm in a secret compartment in a vehicle Flores was driving, officers said.

On Dec. 11, officers tried to stop a vehicle at Park and Eighth streets for running a stop sign. The vehicle slowed, police said, and a man they later identified as 20-year-old Hector Borja jumped out of the car and ran.

Officers captured Borja and the 15-year-old driver, finding marijuana and a loaded firearm, which police believe the pair discarded while attempting to escape. Both were taken into custody.

Also arrested during the anti-gang campaign, according to police, were Arnulfo Castaneda, 25; Luis Reyna, 22; Daniel Castro; Irving Navarro, 22; Randy Delarosa, 22; Julian Hickman, 21; and Salvador Esquivel Estrada, 43. Several others were arrested and released without being formally booked at the Merced County Jail.

The campaign was funded by Proposition 30 money from the office of Gov. Jerry Brown, police said.

The funding was allocated to support local law enforcement agencies as a component of the state Prison Realignment Act from 2011.

“Over the years, many agencies across California have experienced a shortage of personnel and resources,” Chavez said in the statement. “The funding that Gov. Brown has provided has truly impacted our ability to proactively seek out those who commit acts of violence and bring them to justice.”

Chavez encouraged residents to report any activity they feel may be suspicious. To leave an anonymous tip, call (209) 394-7916.