Twenty-six gang members were arrested Wednesday and Thursday in a sweep in Planada, Merced and Winton, the Merced County Sheriff's Department reported.
Sheriff's deputies said the sweep was in response to a recent spike in gang activity. "We're tired of the regressive actions associated with this gang lifestyle," said Sheriff Mark Pazin. "These gang bangers truly challenge Darwin's Theory of Evolution by succumbing to this regressive type of lifestyle."
Deputies conducted the sweep with help from Merced Multi-Agency Narcotics Task Force, Merced/Mariposa HIDTA Task Force, Merced County Probation Department, state Parole and the Merced Multi-Agency Gang Task Force.
A total of 45 law enforcement officials participated. Several known and validated gang residences were targeted and searches of their homes were part of the sweep.
During the sweep, officers served 10 misdemeanor warrants, and one felony warrant. Of the arrests, two were made for meth possession, two were made for weapons violations, one was made for cultivation of marijuana, one was made for possession of cocaine, four were made for possession of marijuana.
Two arrests were made for misdemeanor traffic violations, one arrest was made for harboring a fugitive, and three searches were conducted with K9 dogs.