By CBS13 Staff

TURLOCK (CBS13) — More than 20 people have been arrested in connection to a months-long investigation into the Norteno street gang in the Turlock area, officials announced Wednesday.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation began after a home invasion robbery in unincorporated Turlock on March 17. Together with the Turlock Police Department and Central Valley Impact Task Force, investigators focused on three Norteno gang subsets in the Turlock area, “Turlocos,” “Familia Unida (FU),” and “Varrio West Side Turlock (VWST).”

So far, the investigation resulted in 23 arrests and the seizure of 18 firearms, $19,800 in cash, two pounds of methamphetamine, 786 marijuana plants, 19.4 pounds of processed marijuana, 293 prescription pills and 4.9 grams of cocaine. Investigators say they uncovered evidence of robberies, home invasions, drug sales, weapons sales and street gang activity.

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Officials say Adrian Ortiz, 26, was identified as a suspect after the March 17 home invasion. After obtaining a wiretap warrant for his phone, investigators say they learned how the gang taxed its members and members of the public who operated lawful business in their “territory.” A sheriff’s investigative unit lieutenant said the wiretaps gave insight into how the gang was making money.

Law enforcement served search warrants at 17 locations and wrote more than 50 search warrants for wiretaps and to search phones, computers, cars and buildings. This led to the seizure of drugs, cash and weapons, the sheriff’s office said.

The following suspects were arrested on various charges during the investigation, officials said.

  • Adrian Ortiz (26 Turlock)
  • Jean Betgeorge (50 Turlock)
  • Victor Origel (60 Turlock)
  • Armando Tirado (37 Modesto)
  • Christopher Sanchez (29 Turlock)
  • Joe Peres-Cacho (37 Keyes)
  • Ivan Gonzalez-Velasquez (24 Turlock)
  • Israel Beltran (29 Turlock)
  • Fabian Beltran (33 Turlock)
  • Yordy Gonzalez (21 Turlock)
  • Alexandrea Garcia (33 Turlock)
  • Jesse Mulgado (32 Turlock)
  • Rosalva Garza (65 Turlock)
  • Richard Benavides (38 Turlock)
  • Andrew Padilla (33 Delhi)
  • Adolfo Velasquez (44 Turlock)
  • Damian Ceballos (18 Turlock)
  • Marcos Murillo (33 Turlock)
  • Manuel Maldonado (28 Turlock)
  • Joshua Trimble (24 Turlock)
  • Fernando Diaz (23 Modesto)
  • Santos Nunez (27 Turlock)
  • Fernando Baltazar (55 Turlock)