Suspect Who Killed Known Yakima Gang Member Arrested
A 20-year-old man wanted for the shooting of a known Yakima gang member in June of last year at a local store has been arrested by the U.S. Marshals Violent Offender Task Force with help from local authorities. Joseph Pelayo was arrested at a Union Gap home on Wednesday.
POLICE SAY THE VICTIM WAS A KNOWN GANG MEMBER IN YAKIMA
32-year-old Juan Carlos Zavala died in the shooting in June of 2022 after he was shot while fixing a tire on his vehicle in the parking lot of the Rocky Mart store at 1003 West Nob Hill Blvd. Palayo is being held in the Yakima County jail on murder and assault charge.
Police say Zavala was a "well known violent Yakima gang member" at the time of his death.
YAKIMA POLICE SAY DRUG CARTELS ARE OPERATING IN YAKIMA
As pressure grows on the Biden administration to rein in drug cartels Yakima authorities are seeing signs of major drug activity every day. Yakima Police say members of the New Generation Jalisco Cartel are busy establishing themselves in the valley as authorities are doing everything they can to disrupt their activity. In fact in September of last year local authorities seized what they describe as a large weapons cache from the cartel.
POLICE MADE A BIG CARTEL BUST LAST YEAR IN YAKIMA
Yakima Police Department say they partnered with Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives to serve two federal search warrants at two locations in Yakima on September 9 of last year.
During the search of the unnamed locations "Special Agents seized 27 high powered rifles, 2 shotguns and 9 handguns. Also seized during the warrants was US currency, methamphetamine and fentanyl."
They say the search warrants are related to an ongoing investigation into the New Generation Jalisco Cartel who are smuggling narcotics from Mexico into the United States and into the Yakima Valley.