Arrests made in death of Modesto teen

Police say shooting two weeks ago was gang-related

February 3, 2010 

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Authorities have arrested three teenagers in connection with the death of a 17-year-old boy gunned down in a gang-related attack two weeks ago in northwest Modesto, a police spokesman said Wednesday night.

Marcos Christian Alvarez of Modesto was shot about 10:30 p.m. Jan. 21. Officers found Alvarez lying in the street in the 1800 block of Bonanza Way, just west of Carver Road and north of Mount Vernon Drive.

Alvarez died at a hospital two days after the shooting.

Homicide detectives, gang investigators and the Special Weapons and Tactics team served search warrants at four homes Tuesday as part of the homicide investigation, said Modesto police Sgt. Rick Armendariz.

While serving the search warrants, authorities arrested Justin Kainoa Cabacungan, 18, Jeffrey Steven Jones, 19, and a 17-year-old boy, all of Modesto, for their suspected involvement in the shooting.

Cabacungan and Jones were being held at the Stanislaus County Jail on Wednesday night, while the 17-year-old suspect was in custody at the Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall. Police did not release his name because he is a minor.

Armendariz said investigators believe Alvarez was targeted as a rival gang member in the attack.

Cabacungan was arrested on suspicion of murder, participating in a criminal street gang, vehicle theft and other charges.

Jones was arrested on suspicion of aiding in the commission of a felony, participating in a criminal street gang, vehicle theft and other charges.

Cabacungan was being held without bail, while Jones' bail was set at $50,000. Information on the 17-year-old's charges was not available.

Armendariz said the Stanislaus County district attorney's office will have the final determination as to what charges will be filed against the suspects.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at or 578-2394.

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