SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - A high-saturation patrol by the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team Gang Task Force throughout Santa Cruz Friday night ended with seven wanted suspects in handcuffs and a cache of drugs off the streets.
The first arrests were made around 3 p.m. on the 100 block of Bixby Street. Members of the task force contacted Anthony Espudo and Catherine Lorenzo in an apartment where several known drug offenders were contacted. Agents say Espudo and Lorenzo tried hiding but were quickly arrested. Espudo was wanted on two felony and four misdemeanor warrants for his arrest. Lorenzo was wanted on one felony warrant. All were from the Santa Cruz County Superior Court.
The next arrest took place around 3:30 p.m. where Canfield Street meets San Lorenzo Boulevard. Agents located two juvenile brothers who were wanted on outstanding warrants. Gang Task Force members say both juveniles fled. After a foot pursuit, the 17-year-old brother was apprehended in a Walgreens store on Front Street. Agents say he was in possession of meth and marijuana. He was booked for the warrant and for drug possession. The other brother escaped.
Then at 5:30 p.m., members of the task force stopped Brad Spini at the intersection of Ocean and Coloma streets for breaking the vehicle code. Members of the force say he's a known drug offender. When they searched him, they found an illegal knife. He was arrested for felony weapon possession.
Finally, at 8:20 p.m., Santa Cruz police were called to the East Levee under the Riverside Avenue bridge for drug activity. Gang Task Force members arrived and detained Victor Martinez, Rigoberto Rodriguez and Jose Baltazar-Mendoza. The task force says they saw Martinez discard drugs from his possession upon contact.
After searching all three, the task force confiscated a total of 15.6 grams of heroin, 5.2 grams of methamphetamine and 1.3 grams of cocaine.
Martinez also had a felony warrant from the department of Homeland Security for failure to appear for deportation. All three were booked into the County Jail for possession of controlled substances for sales and conspiracy.