7 held on drug charges in Los Banos

By Corey Pride / Cpride@losbanosenterprise.comMarch 8, 2013 

An investigation of a residence being shot at led to multiple arrests on drug charges last week, police said.

The Los Banos Police Department responded to an apartment in the 100 Block of North Santa Rita at 1:46 a.m. March 1 after a report of a shooting.

Officers found several shell casings in the roadway and noticed the apartment had been struck by several bullets. A neighbor's window also was hit.

No injuries were reported.

Witnesses described a dark-colored single-cab truck occupied by two Hispanic males in the area prior to the shooting.

Police said detectives revisited the occupants in the apartment at 10:09 p.m. and observed several documented gang members. An adult male ran from the apartment and authorities were unable to locate him, police said.

Detectives discovered that two of the adults at the residence were on parole. A search of the apartment revealed methamphetamine and drug-smoking pipes, according to police.

"It appeared our detectives came across a gang-related party where narcotics were being used. All of the individuals we contacted were very uncooperative and some of them were inside the residence earlier during the shooting," Cmdr. Ray Reyna Jr. said.

Police arrested Steven Cecena, 19, Daniel Solis, 18, Brandon Torres, 21, Ricardo Herrera, 30, Jose Tarin, 20, Viola Landin, 30, Manuel Rodriguez, 51, on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Herrera and Tarin were also arrested on suspicion of violation of the conditions of parole. They are being held without bail at the Merced Main County Jail.

Cecena, Solis, and Torres posted bail and were released from custody. Rodriguez and Landin are at the John Latorraca Correctional Facility pending $10,000 bail.

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