Suspected gang member arrested in Modesto


Samuel Soares, 22, of Hayward, was arrested in a Modesto home on Wednesday, and faces charges of drug trafficking and possessing a handgun, Hayward police spokesman Sgt. Steve Brown said.

Soares' half-brother, Ruben Chavez, 32, allegedly fled from police at a Manteca house not long after officers arrested Soares, Brown said.

Chavez ran into a strip mall on West Yosemite Avenue in Manteca, Brown said. Police believed he hid in a bar called the Starlight Room, and conducted a thorough search of the bar, but Chavez managed to get away.

The two men are linked to two gang-related homicides in 2009, Brown said.

"This is a gang that's wreaked havoc on our community for more than a year," he said.

Chavez and Soares are believed to have risen to key roles in the gang following the April 2009 arrest of gang leader Antonio "Tiger" Gomez, who is serving eight years in jail on drugs and weapon charges.

Chavez is described as a Hispanic man who is 5 feet 9 inches tall, 190 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information about this case is requested to call Hayward police at (510) 293-7000.

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