Merced-- Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced that agents from the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement yesterday arrested 15 members of the "notorious and violent" Merced Gangster Crips on charges of conspiracy, drug-trafficking, and weapons sales.
"For too long, the notorious and violent Merced Gangster Crips have terrorized Merced with their extreme violence, street drugs and powerful weaponry," Brown said. "A member of this gang brutally killed Merced police officer Stephan Gray in a spasm of violence five years ago. Today, we strike a blow against this vicious street gang and help reclaim the streets of Merced."
In January, Brown's office initiated a multi-agency investigation into the gang's criminal activity. Posing as a drug dealer, an undercover officer with the San Pablo Police Department was able to gain the confidence of the gang members and was able to obtain nearly a pound of rock cocaine, over 400 ecstasy pills, half a pound of marijuana and three handguns.
The five-month investigation concluded with the Merced County grand jury returning a 31-count indictment against 15 members of the Merced Gangster Crips that charged conspiracy, sale of controlled substances -- primarily rock cocaine, ecstasy, and marijuana -- weapons sales, and criminal street gang enhancements.
During the investigation, agents seized 11 1/2 ounces of rock cocaine, seven ounces of marijuana, 448 ecstasy pills, and six loaded handguns.
Today, agents arrested;
- Randy Tyler, 23, of Merced, a suspected leader of the gang,
- Frederick Mays, 21, of Merced also a suspected leader of the gang,
- Lamont Lavell Andres, 35, of Merced;
- Michael Buddy Barret, Jr., 31, of Atwater;
- Eric Devon Beavers, 23, of Merced;
- Antoine Lee Briggs, 27, of Merced;
- Jaray Julius Jaso, 30, of Merced;
- Sudi Dumaka Johnson, 23, of Modesto;
- Jose Ascencio Magana, 24, of Merced
- Patrick McMurray, 22, of Merced
- Lutricia Marie Moore, 23, of Atwater
- Damien Ricardo Perry, 26, of Merced
- Denicio Taylor Ramos, 22, of Merced
- Mckinley Jabree Sims III, 32, of Merced
- Lester Archie Turner, 24, of Merced; and
- Alejandro Joseph Zavala, 28, of Turlock.
In April 2004, Merced Gangster Crips gang member Cuitliachuac (Toa) Rivera killed Merced Police Officer Stephan Gray during a routine traffic stop. Rivera was later convicted of the murder and received a death sentence.
"Having prosecuted the MGC gangster who murdered Merced Police Officer Stephan Gray, I know how dangerous this street gang can be. No one, not even members of law enforcement, is immune. This joint investigation has removed some very ruthless individuals from our streets," said Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse.
Agencies involved in today's arrests include: the Attorney General's Office Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement Gang Suppression Enforcement Team, the Merced Police Department, Merced Multi-Agency Gang Task Force, Merced Multi-Agency Narcotics Task Force, Madera County Narcotics Enforcement Team, Madera Gang Enforcement Team, West Narcotics Enforcement Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration, and agents from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.
A copy of the indictments is attached.