6 alleged gang members arrested
Conover Police arrested six alleged gang members this weekend after shots were fired in an area mobile home park.
Christian Nava, 22, of Hickory; Edgar Antonio Hernandez, 23, of Conover; Samuel Antonio Hernandez, 18, of Conover; Arturo Hernandez Gabriel, 27, of Newton; Victor Efren Ramirez, 18, of Conover; and Juan Jesus Santalian, 19, of Hickory, were arrested on view and charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, carrying a concealed weapon and discharging a firearm within city limits, said Conover Police Chief Steve Brewer.
The men are believed to be members of a local gang called Sur-13, which is loosely affiliated with the Bloods or the Crips gangs.
“We are working on trying to identify them,” Brewer said, adding the men had similar clothing and tattoos to identify them with a specific gang.
According to various websites, the Sur-13 gang is a Mexican-American organized street gang based in Southern California. They reportedly wear the color blue and have tattoos of the Roman numeral for 13, XIII. Some people believe they are loosely associated with the Mexican mafia.
A North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper assisted Conover Police with a call early Saturday morning regarding a car crash on County Home Road.
The trooper arrived on the scene near Lyle Haven Mobile Home Park in an attempt to locate the car crash, Brewer said. When the trooper didn’t see a wreck, he walked into the mobile home park to investigate.
As the trooper was walking, he heard several gunshots coming from the direction of the mobile home park, and he called Conover Police for assistance, Brewer said.
Conover Police arrived on the scene, and they stopped a late-model Cadillac as it was leaving the mobile home park.
Police searched the vehicle and found a .45-caliber handgun, a .22-caliber pistol and less than a half ounce of marijuana.
All six men charged in the incident were riding in the car when it was stopped by police.
No injuries were reported following the gunshots, and Brewer said he thinks the men discharged the weapon into the air.
Brewer doesn’t know if the men were involved in other gang activity in Conover, but he said police continue to investigate the incident.
“We’re going to see where this leads us and do everything we can to get more information,” he said.
The men were transported to Catawba County jail, where Santalian, Nava and Hernandez were given a $7,500 secured bond each, Gabriel and Hernandez were given a $1,000 bond each and Ramirez was given a $2,000 bond.