Woman with Salinas gang ties sent to prison for 70 months

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JULIA REYNOLDS (Monterey Herald) | November 22, 2012 A woman who had close ties to prominent Salinas and Watsonville gangs has been sentenced to nearly six years in prison following last year’s Operation Garlic Press Sweeps. The case of Rosa Martinez, 32, has been viewed by some in law enforcement as a classic example of […]

Teenager Talks About Gang Life

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Jennifer Squires (Watsonville Patch) | October 25, 2012 Gang leaders are “fighting for the hearts, minds and souls of our youth,” Watsonville Police Chief Manny Solano told the crowd of participants at Wednesday’s Youth Violence Prevention Planning Summit in Live Oak. Moments later, a 16-year-old who grew up in Santa Cruz’s Beach Flats neighborhod took […]

Gang Trends Along the Central Coast

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Chloe Beardsley (KION) | August 2, 2012 WATSONVILLE, Calif. — Cities along the Central Coast are seeing an increase in gang activity. Some cities have to deal with rival gang conflicts, while others are starting to see more fights within the same gang. Sgt. Saul Gonzalez has worked as an investigator at the Watsonville Police […]

Watsonville leaders respond to 6 homicides in 2011

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Stephen Baxter (Santa Cruz Sentinel) | July 26, 2011 WATSONVILLE — Police and civic leaders acknowledged Monday that violent gang crime has risen sharply this year, but say they have identified potential suspects in Saturday’s daylight shooting at a busy Main Street parking lot. Six homicides have been reported in Watsonville in 2011. A seventh […]

Watsonville Gang Member Goes To Prison for Attacking Officer


Kiki Jones (Kion 46) | June 02, 2011 Oscar Cruz was sentenced today to three years in prison, after pleading to charges of active participation in a criminal street gang, felony assault on a police officer, misdemeanor assault, burglary, theft, and possession of stolen property. The charges stemmed from an incident in the early morning […]

Boy, 14, Arrested for Pajaro Gang Shooting

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Jennifer Squires (Watsonville Patch) | April 16, 2011 Gangsters in Pajaro had their guns blazing Friday evening. Two gang shootings in an hour had Watsonville police and Monterey County Sheriff’s deputies scrambling to locate the assailants and keep a lid on the violence that sent a Watsonville man to the hospital. A Watsonville police officer […]

Watsonville police say stabbing victim had dropped out of a gang

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Stephen Baxter (Mercury News) | January 03, 2011 WATSONVILLE – As police searched for leads Monday in the stabbing death of Jose Alfredo Coronel, friends and family gathered on the sidewalk where he was killed to mourn their loss. The 32-year-old had been in his home Saturday night near the corner of Pennsylvania and Hammer […]

Watsonville Police Investigate Gang-Related Stabbing Near Middle School


KTUV.com August 11, 2010 WATSONVILLE, Calif. — A 15-year-old boy was stabbed Tuesday morning near a middle school in Watsonville in a gang-related incident, according to police. Officers found the boy at about 10:15 a.m. in a parking lot at E.A. Hall Middle School at 201 Brewington Ave. He told officers he had been walking […]

Two Injured In Gang-Related Stabbings In Watsonville


By Jennifer Squires (Santa Cruz Sentinel) June 30, 2010 WATSONVILLE – Two people were stabbed blocks just apart from one another in a two-hour span in Watsonville. Both acts of violence were gang-motivated, but did not appear to be connected, according to police. A 25-year-old man was stabbed more than a dozen times around 7:40 […]

Watsonville Police Track Down Fourth Suspect In Santa Cruz Gang Slaying


Jennifer Squires (Santa Cruz Sentinel) June 16, 2010 SANTA CRUZ – Watsonville police arrested a gang member Tuesday afternoon who Santa Cruz police had been looking for in connection with the stabbing death of a 16-year-old high school student last fall. Walter Escalante, 24, was arrested at his Freedom Boulevard home on suspicion of violating […]

Watsonville police: September slaying was gang training


By Jennifer Squires (Santa Cruz Sentinel) 06/14/2010 WATSONVILLE – The fatal shooting of a gang wannabe last fall was a training for younger gang members, Watsonville police said Monday. Two suspected Sureno gang members were arrested Friday for their alleged roles in the killing of Richard Campos, 21, near Roache Road and Carey Avenue the […]

Gang members shoot at each other at Watsonville car wash

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Jennifer Squires 05/18/2010 WATSONVILLE — Gang members got into a shootout at an East Lake Avenue car wash on Monday evening, but no one was struck by bullets and one man was arrested, police reported. The shots rang out around 7 p.m. when a man popped over a fence and started firing at Porfirio Melgoza, […]