The Mendota Police Department is small but was reportedly a big part of an investigation leading to about two dozen gang members arrested.
A huge sense of relief for so many. Each person we spoke with said the same, the gang brings terror throughout the city.
Dozens of MS-13 gang members who terrorize the small city have now arrested by 400 law enforcement officers from across the country
“The group of individuals who were removed from Mendota from these arrests and the evidence from these search warrants is huge. We have hurt this gang’s presence in the city of Mendota,” said Police Chief Gregg Andreotti.
He said this gang entered the city under the radar a few years back but has progressively caused a wave a fear throughout the community.
“They have made themselves known through their violent practices. They are very disciplinary within their own gang. They also victimize the community through drug sales,” he said.
“There’s quite a bit of them. It’s quite a big deal. A lot of people are moving out of town because of them,” said a Mendota resident.
Mendota residents told us they are aware of the danger but are warning more gang members are out there.
“That’s good that there was big arrest but we need bigger. There are still a lot,” said one resident who asked not to be named.
Chief Andreotti said now that this main group of gang members are out he wants residents of Mendota to feel safe coming to police reporting crimes — not fearing retaliation.
“This is a new chapter,” he said.
Both Chief and Sheriff Mims reminded us this investigation does not stop after these arrests. It will continue across the United States and here in the Central Valley.