A months-long investigation ended Thursday with two people behind bars in Merced and Stanislaus counties, two young children in protective custody and the seizure of cocaine, marijuana, and concentrated cannabis.
Eduardo Trujillo, 20, and Erica C. Valenzuela, 29, were arrested around 1:30 p.m. at an apartment on 20th Century Boulevard in Turlock, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.
Authorities found Trujillo coming out of an apartment in the 100 block of 20th Century Boulevard. “Agents followed the vehicle Trujillo and (Valenzuela) left in a rural location, where agents surrounded the vehicle and took Trujillo into custody,” Shelton said.
Shelton described Trujillo as a known gang member.
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Valenzuela’s two children, ages 3 and 12, were removed from a home described by the Sheriff’s Department as “obviously a drug house.” Investigators seized 16 grams of cocaine, more than a pound of marijuana, about 8 ounces of concentrated cannabis, also known as “honey oil,” a firearm and a large amount of ammunition. Trujillo is legally prohibited from possessing guns and ammunition because of prior convictions, the Sheriff’s Department said.
Trujillo was booked at the Merced County Jail in lieu of $785,000 bail on suspicion of nearly a dozen felony drug, weapons and street gang charges. He was also wanted in Merced County on unrelated warrants charging him with assault in 2011, a weapons and drug case in 2012 and recklessly evading police in 2013, Deputy Delray Shelton said.
He was wanted in Stanislaus County on an unrelated warrant involving a high-speed pursuit, the Sheriff’s Department said. Details on that case were not available Thursday.
Valenzuela was booked at the Stanislaus County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail on suspicion of chemically manufacturing controlled substances and child endangerment – both felonies, according to Stanislaus County Jail records.
Merced County Sheriff’s Deputy Tim Concalves organized Thursday’s raid with the aid of the Merced County gang and narcotics task forces and the Merced Police Department.