Fresno police arrested several gang members this week — the product of investigations into three gang-related shootings within 24 hours last month in Pinedale.
Lt. Mark Salazar said those arrested Tuesday were not taken into custody for the Pinedale shootings that occurred on Feb. 16, but that their arrests helped detectives glean new information into the shooting incidents. No one was injured by the gunfire.
At a home in southwest Fresno, Salazar said gang member Manuel Salinas, 36, a discharged parolee, was arrested for allegedly possessing ammunition and a ballistic vest.
While at the home, a detective investigated further and arrested gang member Edward Morales, 19, of Fresno, for allegedly possessing a loaded handgun suspected stolen, along with nearly one pound of marijuana. Salazar said Morales legally owned an assault-type rifle but detectives confiscated it after discovering it was being passed around to other gang members.
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At a northeast Fresno home, officers found a loaded sawed-off shotgun belonging to gang member Rudy “Convict” Villalva, 34, of Fresno. Salazar said Villalva is a discharged parolee with an extensive criminal history involving guns.
In Pinedale, Eddie Morales Sr., 45, of Fresno — father of the 19-year-old Edward Morales — was arrested for being an ex-felon in possession of a shotgun.
Both Morales men were released on bail early Wednesday morning. Salinas got out on bail early Thursday morning. Villalva remained in jail Thursday morning on the gun charges as well as a warrant for his arrest in a DUI case.
Salazar said police were assisted by the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC) and a task force from the U.S. Marshals Service. He said more operations are in the works to find the Pinedale shootings suspects.