Stanislaus County Sheriff: 23 people arrested, trove of evidence seized in street gang investigation
The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office has announced the arrests of twenty-three people and the seizure of guns, cash, and drugs in connection to a months-long investigation into the Norteno street gang.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, the investigation began with a home invasion robbery in unincorporated Turlock back in March of 2020. After identifying 26-year-old Adrian Ortiz as a primary suspect, detectives were able to obtain a wiretap warrant and surveil his phone. This in turn allowed them to secure wiretap warrants on other associated parties.
What followed was the discovery of evidence indicating numerous robberies and home invasions, as well as evidence of drug sales, illegal weapon sales, and other criminal gang activity.
Such evidence also led investigators to the discovery of other alleged drug deals, locations of drug houses, and inner workings of the gang’s operation, such as taxing its own members or taxing public citizens lawfully operating businesses in gang territory.
By the investigation’s conclusion in early December, authorities had seized eighteen firearms, almost $20,000 in cash, two pounds of meth, 786 marijuana plants, nearly twenty pounds of processed marijuana, almost five grams of cocaine, and about 300 prescription pills.
Including Ortiz, those arrested as a result of the investigation are as follows:
Jean Betgeorge (age 50), Victor Origel (60), Armando Tirado (37), Christopher Sanchez (29), Joe Peres-Cacho (37), Ivan Gonzalez-Velasquez (24), Israel Beltran (29), Fabian Beltran (33), Yordy Gonzalez (21), Alexandria Garcia (33), Jesse Mulgado (32), Rosalvo Garza (65), Richard Benavides (38), Andrew Padilla (33), Adolfo Velasquez (44), Damian Ceballos (18), Marcos Marillo (33), Manuel Maldonado (28), Joshua Trimble (24), Fernando Diaz (23), Santos Nunez (27), and Fernando Baltazar (55).