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Sunday, 03 May 2020 23:30

Vehicle Pursuit Leads to Narcotics Charges

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MERCED - Authorities with the Merced Police Department arrested several individuals on narcotics charges after a vehicle pursuit Saturday afternoon.

At about 7:17pm officers with the gang violence suppression unit attempted to stop a silver BMW near Wardrobe Avenue for a traffic violation. Police officers initiated a pursuit with the vehicle after the driver failed to yield.

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During the chase with the vehicle, authorities witnessed an occupant throw a bag of narcotics from the car. The BMW later came to a stop in the area of Highway 140 and Massasso Street. Five occupants of the vehicle were arrested, all said to be gang members.

The occupants were identified as Robert Chavez, Stephen Johnson, Ariel Hicks, Cornelius Gilchrist, and Carlos Martinez. 

Authorities later found the tossed bag of narcotics, which contained approximately 182 Ecstasy pills. Officials say Chavez was also in possession of a large amount of money.

All five individuals were cited for possession of narcotics for sales, transportation of narcotics and gang enhancements. Chavez was also cited by authorities for felony evading and driving without a license.

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Monday, 26 August 2019 19:42

Winton Man Arrested for Sex Crimes with Minors

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MERCED COUNTY - A Winton man was arrested for sex crimes with minors, authorities say.

Teng Xiong, 45 years old, also known as Art Jones was booked into the Merced County Jail and faces several charges of sex crimes with minors.

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According to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office, Xiong is belived to have possibly committed the crimes during his time as an elementary school teacher. The investigations bureau is currently working the case and is looking for anyone with more information regarding Xiong’s crimes.

Xiong faces charges of sexual penetration with a foreign object and lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Martha Martinez at (209) 385-7472. Callers may remain anonymous.

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Tuesday, 20 August 2019 19:34

Woman Arrested, Had Baby in Car During Pursuit

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MERCED COUNTY - Authorities arrested a Turlock woman who led deputies on a high speed chase Tuesday morning.

Shortly after 11:00am, a Merced County Sheriff Lieutenant and Captain were passed on Highway 99 by a silver sedan traveling at a high rate of speed. As the vehicle continued driving erratically southbound on the highway, they advised a deputy who was just up ahead that the vehicle was approaching.



The officials observed the vehicle swerving dangerously through traffic, and as the vehicle passed the deputy he attempted to initiate a traffic stop. The driver did not pull over and began passing vehicles in speeds estimated to exceed 100 miles per hour authorities said.

A second deputy joined the pursuit and the two continued to try to get the driver to stop. As the pursuit approached Highway 99 and Franklin Road the driver of the silver sedan lost control crashed onto nearby railroad tracks.

Deputies quickly took the driver into custody, who was identified as 24 year old Aleigha Freitas of Turlock. Authorities believe she was under the influence of drugs.

Inside the vehicle, deputies located a six month old infant strapped into a child safety seat. The baby and Freitas appeared to be unharmed, but were transported to a hospital to be checked out.

The child was placed in the custody of Merced County Child Protective Services, Freitas was charged with felony evasion and felony child endangerment.

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Monday, 01 July 2019 13:41

Deputies Make Arrest in Chop Shop Operation

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DELHI - Authorities with the Merced County Sheriff's Office arrested a man after discovering several stolen vehicles on his property.

Officials say two deputies made contact with the suspect, identified as James Harry, on June 21st at the Liberty Market. Harry was using an off-road motorcycle which he claimed ownership to, however deputies discovered it to be reported stolen.

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The deputies accompanied Mr. Harry to his residence on the 9900 block of Palm Avenue to retrieve proof of ownership. Deputies spotted another motorcycle in plain view at his home, which was also identified to be stolen. A large forklift was also visible in the backyard of the home, which was reported to be stolen two days prior.

Investigators responded to the property and were given permission to enter the property. A total of seven vehicles that were reported stolen were recovered from the property. Several other items which were believed to be stolen were located at the residence as well.

James Harry was arrested on charges including possession of stolen property, being a felon in possession of firearms, and operating a chop shop. He was booked into the Merced County Jail.

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Thursday, 13 April 2017 16:06

Felon Found With Gun Arrested

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MERCED - Police arrested a felon during a traffic stop who was found to be in possession of a firearm.

Officers with the Merced Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle belonging to Ishmele Brewer on the 1600 block of West 16th Street Tuesday. Officers with the gang violence suppression unit had developed information that Brewer was in possession of a firearm.

Police say Brewer is a convicted felon on probation and is not allowed to be in possession of any firearms or ammunition. Officers conducted a probation search on his vehicle and found a 9mm handgun and ammunition.

Brewer was arrested and booked into the Merced County Jail on charges including being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, violation of probation and gang enhancements.

Monday, 20 March 2017 14:12

Merced Woman Arrested on Homicide Charges

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MERCED - Police arrested a Merced woman on a charge of homicide after allegedly striking a pedestrian with her vehicle and fleeing the scene during a fight.

At about 7:00pm Sunday, officers with the Merced Police Department received several calls of a large fight in progress in the area of 19th Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Responding officers received updates that a woman in a red car had just run someone over and struck several vehicles as she attempted to leave the scene.

As police officers arrived in the area, they witnessed a red vehicle near 19th and I Streets being driven by a woman. The vehicle had obvious visible signs of damage. Officers also found a woman down in the roadway requiring immediate medical attention, and several witnesses saying she had just been run over by the driver of the red car.

Police described the scene as very chaotic with a large gathering crowd. Witnesses identified the suspect driver as Ashley Sanders, a resident of Merced. The victim was transported to a hospital in Modesto where she died from her injuries.

Sanders was arrested by police without incident and booked into the Merced County Jail on homicide charges.

The name of the victim was not released by authorities, pending notification of family. She was only identified as a 20 woman who lived in the neighborhood.

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LOS BANOS - A 21 year old was arrested after setting fire to a home with two girls inside Sunday afternoon.

Police responded to the home on the 1400 block of Pintail Circle after receiving a report of a structure fire, and arrived to find 21 year old Carlos Castillo in front of the house. Castillo was detained by officers after making suspicious comments regarding the fire.

Castillo resisted officers as he was taken into custody, trying to run away. An additional officer and sergeant arrived and surrounded Castillo who began reaching into his waistband and approaching the officers. Castillo began shouting for the officers to kill him.

One officer deployed a taser causing Castillo to fall to the ground. He was placed into handcuffs and detained. No weapon was found on his person.

Police contacted an 18 year old woman and a 10 year old girl who were inside of the home and escaped the fire through a window. They told officers that Castillo was inside acting strangely, so they fled upstairs and locked themselves in a room. A short time later they smelled smoke as Castillo set fire to the home.

The two escaped the fire by falling through a window, causing a laceration to the ten year old's arm as well as other injuries. They both were also suffering from smoke inhalation. Both were transported to a hospital for care.

During questioning, police learned that Castillo had set fire to the home. He was placed under arrest without bail and faces charges including arson, aggravated arson, child endangerment causing bodily injury and resisting arrest.

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