Merced Police investigate drug sales after they say suspected gang member is found with gun

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A suspected gang member was arrested by officers Saturday, after a firearm and narcotics were found in a Merced neighborhood.

About 2:45 p.m., officers with the Merced Police Department Gang Unit served a search warrant in the 2200 block of Wood Street, according to a department news release. Police said the warrant was served while following up on information that Benjamin Chandler Jr., 25, who is a known gang member, illegally possessed a firearm.

While serving the warrant, officers found a loaded .40 caliber handgun, marijuana, items related to the sale of narcotics and about $13,000 in cash, according to police. Chandler was arrested and booked into Merced County Jail on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition by a prohibited person, according to jail records.

Police said officers are continuing an investigation into the sale of narcotics.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer Centeno at 209-388-7742 or Some crimes can be reported through the Merced Police Department website and anonymous tips can be submitted by calling 209-385-4725.

Anonymous tips can also be submitted to law enforcement through the Merced Area Crime Stoppers website.

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