On June 20, 2018 at about 4:30 pm, the Merced County Sheriff’s Office Detectives Bureau took 24-year-old Juan Ceja-Prado of Planada into custody. Ceja-Prado was the primary suspect in the double homicide that took place at the taco truck in Planada earlier this year. The Detectives Bureau served a search warrant on Ceja-Prado’s residence.

Ceja-Prado was arrested when he reported into probation later that day.
Sheriff Vern Warnke and the Merced County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Community of Planada for their help over the past few months. With the Community and Sheriff’s Office working together, we have been able to take criminals like Ceja-Prado off the streets and in return the crime in Planada has decreased significantly. Between October 1, 2017 and June 15, 2018, The Sheriff’s Office has noticed a decrease of about 80% in gang related crimes in Planada. Below is the breakdown of call volume.

October 1, 2017 to March 26, 2018
Reason for Calls: Number Of Calls:

Penal Code 246 – Shooting at an Inhabited Dwelling or Occupied Car – 5

Penal Code 245 – Assault with a deadly weapon – 4

Call for Service Code 232 – Suspected Shots Fired – 17

March 26, 2018 to June 15, 2018
Reason for Calls: Number Of Calls:

Penal Code 246 – Shooting at an Inhabited Dwelling or Occupied Car – 1

Penal Code 245 – Assault with a deadly weapon – 1

Call for Service Code 232 – Suspected Shots Fired – 8

If you have any information regarding a crime that has occurred, please contact the Merced County Sheriff’s Office at (209) 385-7445. You can remain anonymous and your tip could help in solving a crime and bring justice to criminals.


Eric Lamar Sloan Jr., 14, is wanted in connection to the January 12, 2018 shooting death of a 20-year-old man in the 200 block of E. March Lane (Food 4 Less Parking Lot). There is a homicide warrant in the system for his arrest pertaining to this case. Sloan also has a probation warrant unrelated to this case in the system.

Sloan is described as 5’2” to 5’4” and weighs approximately 110 lbs. Sloan should be considered armed and dangerous.

The Stockton Police Department is encouraging citizens to call if they have information pertaining to this investigation. Callers are asked to call the Stockton Police Department at (209) 937-8377, the Investigations Unit at (209) 937-8323, or Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600. Callers can remain anonymous.

Citizens may also text information from their cell phones to ‘Crimes’ (274637) and type the keyword TIPSPD and then their tip or logon to the Stockton Police Department’s Facebook page and click ‘Submit A Tip’. Tipsters may also send tips on the Stockton PD Mobile Phone App. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

If you have any information that may lead to an arrest, call Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600. Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards up to $10,000.


Madera County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation into the double homicide that occurred on January 16, 2018 in the 24000 block of Robertson Blvd in Madera County near Chowchilla.

The two victims in this case have been identified as Armando Villanueva, 70, and Marta Torres, 63. Armando and Marta are residents of Mexico, but have been visiting family in Chowchilla for the last several months. Both victims showed signs of apparent trauma. Autopsies to determine cause of death will be conducted by the end of the week.

Detectives have concluded their search of the crime scene at this time. All items recovered at the scene will be examined by crime lab personnel.

The Department of Justice has cleaned and removed all evidence and material from the methamphetamine conversion lab discovered in the adjoining residence. There is no known public health risk at this time. DOJ will collaborate with Madera sheriff officers to continue the investigation into the lab, as well as its relevance to the homicide investigation.

The investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Madera County Sheriff’s Office at 559-675-7770 or Valley Crime Stoppers at 559-498-STOP (7867).


On January 16, 2018 at approximately 12:14am, Chowchilla Police Department responded to a call for service for a residential fire in the 24000 block of Robertson Blvd.

Upon arrival at the scene, two deceased individuals who appeared to be the victims of foul play were located inside the residence. At approximately 12:30am, Madera County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the scene. MCSO Detectives are currently conducting an investigation. Stay tuned for upcoming information.