Two suspected Merced gang members arrested in raid

Two suspected gang members were arrested Friday in Merced following an early morning raid at a cluster of homes described by police as a heavily fortified “compound.”

Officers arrested Robert Ramirez Enriquez, 36, and Jose Luis Munoz, 20, for being felons in possession of a firearm and ammunition, in addition to allegations of gang participation. Both were booked at the Merced County Jail.

Merced police said Friday’s raid in the 3800 block of east Highway 140 was the result of a search earlier this month at the same location by the department’s Gang Violence Suppression Unit and Merced County Probation Department, according to a Police Department news release.

“The department chose to deploy SWAT teams because of the defensive nature of the compound,” police said in the statement. “Officers found a four-house complex surrounded by 6-foot cinder-block walls, a 7-foot high iron gate, sensors that went off when anyone entered the property as well as a surveillance system on each house.”

The raid was conducted by the department’s Gang Violence Suppression Unit, with assistance from the department’s SWAT team, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team and the Multi-Jurisdictional Gang Task Force.

Enriquez posted a $100,000 bail bond and was released from custody Friday afternoon. Munoz remained behind bars with bail set at $250,000, according to jail records.

Although both Enriquez and Munoz were charged Friday as repeat offenders there were no court records of either man having a criminal conviction as an adult.

Investigators on July 17 searched the same residence, seizing several loaded firearms and ammunition and arresting Jose Gomez, 27, on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a loaded firearm and ammunition, officers said.

Gomez was still in custody Friday in lieu of $350,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear Aug. 4 in Merced Superior Court, according to court records.

Court documents show Gomez pleaded guilty in March 2013 to a felony weapons charge and was sentenced to a year in jail and three years’ probation.

Police said all three men are members of the same criminal street gang.