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Drug deal gone bad results in shooting, arrests

Drug deal gone bad results in shooting, arrests

Anthony Rodriguez


POSTED November 11, 2011 12:08 p.m.

 

Five Turlockers have been arrested and 70 pounds of packaged marijuana confiscated after a shooting was reported in what law enforcement is deeming a drug deal gone bad.

The Turlock Police Department was alerted to the developing situation around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday when several callers reported multiple shots fired in the 200 block of Alaska Street. Numerous officers rushed to the scene and as they were approaching they saw two vehicles leaving at a high rate of speed, said police spokesman Lt. Nino Amirfar.

Officers detained the first vehicle, a Toyota Land Cruiser, and the three occupants inside. The driver of the vehicle had an unspecified injury to his head that required treatment at a local hospital, Amirfar said.

Inside the Toyota officers found 15 pounds of packaged marijuana.

The three men told the officers that someone had shot at them. The police department did not say if the driver’s head wound was a result of the shooting.

“The investigation is still ongoing but preliminary findings indicate a drug transaction turned bad,” Amirfar said.

While some officers stayed with the first vehicle, others continued the pursuit of the second, but lost sight of it. However, it was found moments later abandoned after being crashed in a field, Amirfar said.

The vehicle was a Chevrolet pickup and inside it officers found 55 pounds of packaged marijuana and three firearms.

The occupants of the Toyota – Simon White, 23, Travis Smith, 22, and Jose Mendoza Nava, 22, all of Turlock – were arrested for possession of marijuana for sales and transportation.

As the investigation continued detectives were able to locate the registered owner of the Chevrolet, Carlos Arnoldo Espinoza-Lopez, 21, of Turlock and placed him under arrest for robbery, possession of marijuana for sale and assault with a deadly weapon.

Additional leads identified Anthony Rodriguez, 20, of Turlock, who was also arrested for robbery, possession of marijuana for sales and assault with a deadly weapon.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Turlock Police Department Detective Brandon Bertram at 664-7323.  You can also report any information regarding this investigation through Crime Stoppers. Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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