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Sheriff: 1 dead, 1 injured in west Modesto shooting

MODESTO - A shooting outside of a birthday party leaves one person dead and another injured Saturday night.

The shooting occurred around 7:30 p.m. in the 400 block of Briggs Ave. Sheriff's deputies received several calls of shots fired from outside of a home where a party was taking place, says Sgt. Anthony Bejaran.

When deputies arrived they learned from witnesses that an SUV had stopped in front of the home and an argument began between the men in the SUV and some people attending the party. The argument escalated and gunfire was exchanged between the men.

Deputies arrived to the home to find that an 18-year-old male attending the party was shot. Though his condition is not know, his injuries are said to be non life-threatening.

2 shot in neighborhood just south of Modesto

MODESTO, CA - A man was killed and a woman injured in a shooting at a neighborhood south of Modesto Friday night.

Stanislaus County sheriff's deputies responded to the intersection of Lassen Avenue and Dallas Street in Bret Harte around 9:45 p.m. after getting calls about people fighting on the side of the road. Sgt. Anthony Bejaran said as deputies headed to the scene, they got another call reporting that someone was shot.

At the scene, deputies found two victims - a 58-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man. The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital for treatment. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Bejaran said detectives worked throughout the night to process the scene and interview witnesses. Investigators said they were not releasing any other information on the case yet.

San Jose man sought in connection with shooting of Ceres woman

San Jose man sought in connection with shooting of Ceres woman

CERES, Calif. - Ceres police are seeking a San Jose man for questioning in connection with the shooting of a woman at a Ceres apartment complex on Tuesday.

Detective Derek Perry of the Ceres Police Dept. said officers arrived at the complex on the 1600 block of Evans Rd. at 3:53 p.m. and found a 33-year-old woman with a gunshot wound to the leg.

The woman told officers she was in an enclosed yard in the complex when someone fired three shots, one of which hit her in the leg, said Perry.

Emergency personnel arrived and transported the woman to a nearby hospital where she was treated for a non-life threatening injury.

According to the gunshot victim, Isaac Lanford, 33, and an unnamed white woman with blonde curly hair then fled the area in a maroon Acura Integra, said Perry.

Within minutes, the vehicle was found several blocks away from the site of the shooting, Perry said.

Key witness in Chandra Levy case could be discredited

WASHINGTON (AP) - A judge says a key witness against the man convicted of murdering Washington intern Chandra Levy in 2001, his one-time cellmate, could be discredited by new information. 

Levy was from Modesto. 

Judge Gerald Fisher was speaking Thursday at the end of a hearing in the case, one of several recent hearings largely conducted out of earshot of the public and press. That pattern continued Thursday as government lawyers and lawyers for Ingmar Guandique spent about an hour and a half in private conversation.  

At the end, Fisher repeated that the proceedings have been confidential because of security concerns.  

Fisher said prosecutors provided him information in November that could be used to discredit the testimony former Guandique cellmate Armando Morales. Morales testified that Guandique confided he was responsible for Levy's death.

Approximately 50 dead birds found at Patterson cockfighting ring

Approximately 50 dead birds found at Patterson cockfighting ring

PATTERSON, Calif. - Stanislaus County Sheriff's deputies discovered about 50 dead roosters at a suspected cockfighting ring near Patterson Sunday afternoon.

Deputies were dispatched to the 1100 block of Cox Road following a report of cockfights in progress.

When deputies arrived at the location, about 50 men fled a building on the property, with some diving into the San Joaquin River to evade capture, said deputies.

When deputies searched the building, they found over 35 live roosters in wood crates. They also found about 50 dead roosters inside and outside of the building.

No arrests were made during the raid.

Anyone with information about this investigation was encouraged to call the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department at 209-525-7114. You can also leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636.


Police: Pot grow suspect likely paying off border crossing debt

MODESTO, CA - Following up neighbors' complaints, Modesto police narcotics officers busted an indoor marijuana grow on the 700 block of Coddington Way Thursday.

Seized were 663 pot plants worth $1,989,000 on the street, said police Sgt. Rick Applegate.

Arrested was alleged caretaker Fabian Ballesteros-Mendoza, 25. Narcotics unit supervisor Sgt. Kelly Rea said Ballesteros-Mendoza claimed he was brought to the house to take care of the plants and he didn't know who he was working for or the owner of the home.

"It appears he may have been working off a debt for being brought into the United States," said Rea. "This is a very common practice, where subjects pay coyotes (smugglers) to bring illegal immigrants across the border. When the subjects can't pay the coyote, they are basically sold into slavery to harvest the grows in exchange for their debts."

Modesto police raid 2 'Internet cafes'

MODESTO, CA - Two storefronts on McHenry Avenue in Modesto were raided and cleaned out by police Thursday for allegedly being gambling operations.

One of the businesses had the name Business Resource Center, and a poster in the window said Internet and fax services were offered.

But police spokesman Lt. Rick Applegate said about 30 computers were seized from each location because illegal computer gambling was taking place, attracting large and unseemly clients.

"[There was] drug use in the parking lot, sex acts in the parking lot, prostitution," said Applegate. 

A man who worked very briefly as a security guard saw similar behavior.

"The first night I was there, a guy was behind the dumpster doing crack. They were sharing needles in plain view," said Danny Fessenden.