Police have arrested five people in connection with a gang-related shooting outside of a bar earlier this month.
On June 17, detectives served search warrants at two residences in Los Banos and one in Dos Palos in connection with a June 7 shooting in the 500 block of I Street at 12:39 a.m. No one was injured in the shooting.
Law enforcement arrested Jaime Barron, 21, Javier Centeno, 22, Alberto Barron, 26, and Roel Sandoval, 32, all of Los Banos, and Adrian Villalobos, 33, of Dos Palos, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit a crime, and participation in a criminal street gang. Sandoval was also arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Police said the shooting seems to have been premeditated
“This appeared to be an orchestrated attack on rival gang members, who were standing outside the bar,” Detective Sgt. Ivan Mendez said.
Cmdr. Ray Reyna Jr. said police believe Centeno was the shooter.
Police said it took some time before arrests were made because of a lack of cooperation.
“Detectives spent hours reviewing evidence and talking to witnesses. This investigation was stalled by uncooperative victims and reluctant witnesses, but it did not stop our detectives from putting the responsible gang members in jail.” Police Chief Gary Brizzee said.
Police said at least four of the men arrested are documented members of a criminal street gang. All five suspects were initially taken to the Los Banos Police Department Jail before being driven to the Merced facility. Only Barron, whose bail is $73,000, and Villalobos, whose bail is $10,500 remain in custody at Merced County Jail, according to the jail’s staff.
To leave an anonymous crime tip, call (209) 827-7070, ext. 288, or Merced Area Crime Stoppers at (855) 725-2420, or at www. mercedareacrimestoppers.org.