It’s Officer Richard Rubalcaba’s first night on patrol since a big bust went down in the city of Parlier. What strikes him first is that the streets are very quiet.
“I think they’re going to be indoors right now, laying low, not knowing if we’re going to go knocking at their door as well,” said Richard Rubalcaba of the Parlier Police Dept.
Rubalcaba is referring to gang members. The ones blamed for this shooting outside a Laundromat in town last week where a man was injured.
Investigators learned the gun used in that crime may be hidden at a house located near Zediker and Dinuba Ave. So police and U.S. Marshals served a search warrant Thursday morning. What they uncovered was enough evidence to fill the bed of a pickup. There was a bullet proof vest as well as a dozen guns. One of which is known as a Street Sweeper, a shotgun capable of holding up to 12 rounds.
Agents also discovered a sophisticated drug operation.
“One of the rooms had been converted into a marijuana cultivation room. It was fully equipped with heat lamps and generators,” said David Cerda, Chief of the Parlier Police Dept.
Police arrested the homeowner, 42-year old Joe Cavazos. He faces a host of charges; however, he is not accused of being the shooter.
“The suspect in custody has not been determined to be gang-related,” said Chief Cerda.
Officer Rubalcaba says big time crime like this is alarming, but not surprising.
“This is Parlier. Prominent gangs like VCP, Nortenos and Bulldogs. There’s always going to be guns and drugs in little cities like this. So if there were no gangs or drugs here, this would be a perfect little city.
Police believe the stash they seized was feeding a lot of other criminal activity in the area, so this bust could make this community safer and also lead to more arrests.