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Manteca gang crackdown

Other agencies join MPD sweep of city

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Manteca gang crackdown

Stockton Police were a part of Manteca’s citywide gang sweep on Friday night. Officers are shown making a stop on North Main Street that led to an arrest for meth possession.

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POSTED June 23, 2012 2:02 a.m.

Police officers from throughout the county, from Tracy to Stockton, took part in a multi-agency task force gang sweep Friday night in an effort to stem gang violence in Manteca.

The Manteca Police Street Crimes Unit (SCU) led the policing effort with officers and units from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department, Ripon Police Department, Lathrop Police Services and State Parole.

Manteca SCU sergeant Chris Mraz was charged with heading up the city-wide team effort of knocking on doors and seeking out gang members on probation and on parole checking out their status and their adherence to their court-ordered regulations.

Following are some of the statistics compiled over the nine-hour operation:

• 44 probation searches.

• 18 parole searches.

• 91 field contacts with gang members or associates.

• 9 felony arrests

• 6 misdemeanor arrests

• 2 immigration holds.

• 2 parole holds.

Of the people arrested, four were currently on parole and six were on probation for other crimes.

 Drugs seized included methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and marijuana.

 One loaded firearm and one bullet proof vest were also recovered along with multiple rounds of firearm ammunition.

“The Manteca Police Department is grateful to participating agencies for their assistance in addressing violent crimes in our community,” Mraz said. “This mutual aid cooperation between agencies will continue throughout the county and MPD will be hosting more of these operations in the future”

Mraz said that Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion was concerned about the recent upswing in gang shootings and violence in the city and asked him to put together a task force in an effort to interrupt the serious gangster activities throughout the community. He said all the nearby police agencies were willing to assist in the anti-gang program.

Motorists on North Main Street witnessed what was probably the first car stop of the night in a parking lot at the northeast corner of Alameda Street and North Main Street at about 6 p.m.   A Stockton police unit had made a car stop that was reportedly not connected with a gang operation.  After other police units, including officers from the Street Crimes Unit, swarmed the parking area, it was discovered that the driver had a quantity of methamphetamine in his possession.

The motorist was arrested and placed in a Manteca Police transport van and was the first of many to be taken to the city jail at the police department on West Center Street.

The gang sweep was scheduled to last until midnight with those arrested being booked into the San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp.

Police sharpened their focus on gang violence earlier this month. At one point there were four shootings believed to be gang-related in Manteca in six days resulting in seven gunshot victims. At least two were in critical condition when transported to hospitals.

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