Two gang members arrested in Merced

Merced police reported the arrest of two gang members in separate incidents on Thursday.

The first arrest was reported at 1 p.m. in the 200 block of West 19th Street. Agents from the Merced Multi-Agency Gang Task Force reported they were following up on a tip and spotted several known gang members meeting in the area.

One of the gang members, identified as Simon Velasco, 33, fled toward an alley after agents tried to contact the group. After a short chase and help from patrol officers, agents took Velasco into custody, according to a Merced police news release.

Agents searched Velasco’s residence and recovered a firearm, nearly an ounce of methamphetamine and other evidence of drug sales.

The other arrest was reported at 4:43 p.m. after officers with the Merced Police Department’s Gang Violence Suppression Unit were patrolling the 1500 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Officers reported seeing Elias Granados, 34, who had an outstanding warrant.

Granados saw the officers and drove into an In-N-Out Burger parking lot. The officers confronted Granados and took him into custody on the warrant. Officers served a search warrant on Granados’ vehicle and residence. Marijuana was found in the vehicle and a loaded handgun was found under the driver’s seat. Police said Granados was the only person in the vehicle at the time of the incident.

Velasco was booked into the Merced County Jail, where he remains without bail. Granados was booked and is being held in lieu of $305,000 bail.