By Jessica A. York, Santa Cruz Sentinel and Ryan Masters, Santa Cruz Sentinel
SANTA CRUZ >> The U.S. Department of Homeland Security led a pre-dawn operation across Santa Cruz County and Daly City on Monday, arresting 11 members of the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, gang.
The effort, in partnership with local law enforcement, was part of a five-year investigation into the notorious street gang operating in the area, according to Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Dan Flippo. The suspected criminals, members of MS-13, are men between the ages of 20 and 40, he said. A 12th man had been arrested prior to Monday’s operation, Flippo said.
Authorities allege that those arrested had a history of such crimes as murder, extortion and trafficking of heroin and methamphetamine. Two firearms were also seized during the arrests. At least two of those arrested were being held on charges unrelated to gang activity, Flippo...