Paso Robles gang members arrested in statewide drug sweep
December 13, 2012
About 200 officers, including San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies, participated in the sweep organized by the FBI that ranged from San Diego to San Jose. The raid targeted a drug trafficking network based on the Central Coast that a year long investigation determined to have involved Northern San Luis Obispo County gangs, such as the Paso Trece (Paso 13), Underground Pride and Wicked Minded Surenos.
Officers arrested 16 suspects Wednesday and seized money and drugs with a total value of about $100,000 and one loaded weapon. Three additional arrests occurred in a September sweep that netted $80,000 in methamphetamine and cocaine. A total of 22 arrests have now occurred in the case, and additional suspects remain fugitives.
Those arrested include Daniel Montes, 37, Paso Robles; Edwin Rodriguez, 29, San Diego; Delores Prieto, 54, Paso Robles; Edward David Merino, 50, Paso Robles; Leanne Ferravanti, 52, Paso Robles; Anna Aldaco, 34, Paso Robles; Amelia Rosales, 34, Paso Robles; and Miguel Hernandez, 32, Paso Robles, Emiterio Guerrero, 28, Paso Robles; Gabriel Rendon, 38, Paso Robles; Gary Davis, 45, Paso Robles; Leobardo Aburto, 34, Paso Robles; Brandon Fletcher, 28, Paso Robles; Angelica Aguilar, 36, of Paso Robles; and Juan Becerra, 37, Paso Robles.
Three fugitives are residents of San Luis Obispo County. Fourteen of the suspects arrested so far reside in Paso Robles and range from age 24 to 54. At least two of the arrests made Wednesday occurred at a Paso Robles motel near Spring Street.
The FBI says that many of the narcotics transactions occurred at public parks or near schools, including the sale of methamphetamine in the price range of $800 to $1,000 per ounce.
FBI spokesman Bill Lewis of the Los Angeles field office announced the arrests Wednesday in Paso Robles, along with U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. of the Central District of California.
The defendants will appear in federal court, but some may also face state charges. If convicted, they face a maximum of 40 years to life in prison.
Members of the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office, Probation Department, code enforcement and Social Services participated in the investigation, as did Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies and Santa Maria police. The California Highway Patrol also joined the task force.