The attempted murder investigation that stemmed from a shooting at a Turlock gas station uncovered a large-scale drug operation running out of a Turlock home.
The Turlock Police Department raided the home last week and seized fentanyl pills, a large amount of methamphetamine, three replica firearms, a ballistic vest, a jacket with law enforcement insignia and other evidence of narcotics sales, said Turlock Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Parmley.
The investigation began on Aug. 11, when the police department was dispatched to a gas station at West Main Street and North Tully Road for a report of a shooting. The victim, an adult man, sustained a single, non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his lower body. He was taken by ambulance to an area hospital for treatment.
A vehicle was seen fleeing the shooting and witnesses were able to get the license plate number and give it to the police. Through the license plate number, investigators were able to identify Aaron Martinez, 39, of Keyes as the suspected shooter.
Through the attempted homicide investigation, the police department’s Special Investigations Unit began to look at an associate of Martinez — Elizabeth Ordonez, 40, of Turlock.
Martinez’ residence in Keyes and a home in the 500 block of Vermont Avenue were both under surveillance by the SIU team and shortly after Martinez’ arrest, they saw Ordonez carry out several bags from Martinez’ home and place them into the back of her white Ford pickup truck.
The SIU team followed Ordonez as she drove away in the truck and made a traffic stop for a vehicle code infraction. Parmley said the truck was searched and that was when the fentanyl pills and methamphetamine were discovered.
A search warrant was obtained for the Vermont Avenue home, which turned up additional narcotics and paraphernalia associated with drug sales, as well as three replica firearms, a ballistic vest, and a jacket with law enforcement insignia.
Ordonez was booked in the Stanislaus County Jail on Aug. 12, for narcotics sales and transportation of narcotics charges.
“Over 30 hours of continuous work between patrol officers, SIU and detectives resulted in the arrest of an attempted homicide suspect and the dismantling of a major narcotics sales operation Martinez and Ordonez were responsible for,” said Turlock Police Detective Brandon Bertram. “This is yet another example of your police department’s relentless effort in keeping our neighborhoods safe.”
Turlock Police Department staff ask that anyone with information regarding the shooting to call Detective Brandon Bertram at (209) 664-7323. You can also contact the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at (209) 668-5550 extension 6780 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.