TRACY (CBS13) — Five alleged gang members are behind bars Tuesday, all arrested in a massive multi-agency investigation in the Central Valley. A half dozen agencies took part in the sweep including police departments in Tracy, Manteca, Pleasanton, and Ceres.
Officials said they have been tracking these suspects in an investigation that spanned for over a year.READ MORE: Closed Portion Of Highway 50 In El Dorado County To Reopen Tuesday
A man, who did not want to be identified, said Tracy police officers, along with CHP and ATF agents, ransacked his home as they took 26-year-old Jesse Takayama into custody.
“This case started in 2018 as a narcotics sale involving gang members. Following the leads and evidence with the DA’s office, we were able to discover it involved firearms sales,” said interim Tracy Police Chief Alex Neicu.
Five suspects were arrested in five locations Tuesday morning in Stockton and Tracy. Takayama is charged with possession of narcotics for sale, felon in possession of a firearm and gang enhancements.
“There’s no gangs or drugs here–period,” said the man.READ MORE: Suspicious Package In Stockton Deemed Safe, Deputies Say
The man who spoke with CBS13 said he is a friend of Takayama’s family. He called the raid a waste of taxpayer money.
“He had a warrant. They could have come and knocked on our door and said, ‘Jesse are you there?’ and he would have come.“
Law enforcement stood by their decision to use the element of surprise and the SWAT team, saying they took 36 guns off the streets in the operation.
“We are looking for convicted felons, gang members in the possession of firearms who have shown a willingness to engage in violent behavior. We have to take certain safety precautions,” said Neicu.
It’s important to note that no guns were seized at Takayama’s home, according to police, and there are no federal charges at this point only local charges.MORE NEWS: 'Likely' Power Shutoffs To Impact Multiple NorCal Counties Amid Red Flag Warning
Authorities are investigating if the guns were used in any shootings. Per departmental policy, officials would not identify which gangs the suspects were affiliated with.