Seven suspected Norteo gang members arrested in home invasion

TOP ROW: Left to right, Andrew Bustamante, Jonathan Fernandez,

Following the arrest of five suspected Norte
amp;#241;o gang members in a Saturday home invasion robbery, the
Gilroy Police department arrested two other suspects in nonrelated
charges after further investigations.
Following the arrest of five suspected Norteño gang members in a Saturday home invasion robbery, the Gilroy Police department arrested two other suspects in nonrelated charges after further investigations.

The arrests put the number to seven total gang members arrested after a female victim and her two juvenile family members were robbed Saturday at a motel on Monterey Road.

“All these suspected gang members are very active in the community and are believed to be responsible for other gang crimes that have been going on in the community,” Gilroy Police Sgt. Chad Gallacinao said. “Hopefully, this will send a message that the police department and the community will not tolerate gang activity.”

The GPD arrested five of the suspects – Gilroy residents Alexis Gonzales, Andrew Bustamante, Addam Norberte, Joseph Medina and Isaiah Luna – after receiving a 911 call of a “home invasion style robbery” at the National 9 Inn, located in the 5500 block of Monterey Road, according to a GPD press release.

Officers not far from the motel saw the suspects’ vehicle fleeing the area and detained the suspects without incident, GPD Sgt. Chad Gallacinao said.

A search of the vehicle revealed the suspected stolen property and bludgeoning weapons, according to the GPD.

Gonzales, 23, Bustamante, 22, Norberte, 18, and Medina, 21, were identified as having participated directly in the robbery, according to the GPD.

Luna’s, 18, role in the robbery was not clear, though he was arrested for possession of a dangerous weapon.

The suspects were booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of gang-related robbery, according to the GPD.

Gilroy residents Jonathan Fernandez, 20, and Jesus Gonzales, 22, were later arrested following an additional investigation, according to the GPD.

They are not believed to have participated in the robbery, Gallacinao said.

The arrests of Fernandez and Gonzales occurred because of investigations that stemmed from the motel robbery, Gallacinao said. They were both booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail, he said.

Fernandez, a suspected gang member who was recently released from prison, was arrested Saturday evening by the GPD’s Anti-Crime Team in the 1000 block of San Miguel Drive for a violation of his parole conditions.

Gonzalez was arrested for possession of methamphetamine for sale and possession of marijuana for sale Monday morning in the 200 block of Gurries Drive.

Gilroy has had a recent string of high-profile crimes.

In October 2010, police arrested several suspected Norteño gang members at a home located at 7216 Eigleberry St. A search revealed methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana throughout the home, and officers took two children – a newborn and a 10-month-old – from the home into protective custody and turned a third juvenile over to his parents.

The city declared the residence “unfit for habitation” Jan. 18 following more arrests at the home, which police called a “haven” for drugs and gang activity.

The October arrests followed threats made about a week before by alleged gang members after they vandalized the inside of a doctor’s office on Eigleberry Street, leaving messages on the walls that included the threat of armed robberies ahead.

On Jan. 11, three men forced their way into a home in the 7200 block of Church Street and assaulted a resident. They were armed with a firearm, hammer and crowbar, according to the GPD.

The GPD has not identified suspects in that incident.

The GPD has also requested the public’s help in locating Jose Corona-Abad, 19, who is believed to be involved in a gang-related attempted stabbing and robbery of a man and his two children in December.

An investigation revealed Saturday’s robbery victim was confronted in the motel’s parking lot by an unidentified male who began challenging her possible gang affiliation, according to the GPD.

Police said a short time later she observed a group of males gathering in front her room. The group then forced their way into the room and demanded property from the victim and her family members, according to the GPD.

The suspects fled with the victim’s property before being identified by police.

An investigation is ongoing, though more arrests are not anticipated at this time, Gallacinao said.

Gallacinao said the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office will decide if charges will be pursued.

“We don’t want anyone to live out of fear,” said Gallacinao, adding the motel was routinely checked by police for suspicious people and activities. “And that’s what these criminal street gangs do – instill fear.”

Chandrikah Banchal, the motel’s manager, said although there were sometimes fights between guests, Saturday was the “first time” a gang-related robbery happened there.

She also said she was sleeping and wasn’t aware what had happened at the time.

“It happened at night time,” she said. “How can we know?”

Leave your comments