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White City gang crack-down leads to four arrests

Responding to a recent surge of gang-related violence in White City, police have arrested four suspected SureÃ3/8os gang members thought to be responsible for a recent drive-by shooting there, police said.

Osbaldo David Espinoza, 21; Cristobal Lynn Barajas, 21; Christian Omar Espinoza, 19; and a 17-year-old boy, all from White City, all face charges for their alleged involvement in a May 7 drive-by shooting on Hale Way, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department said in a news release.

Osbaldo Espinoza, Barajas and the juvenile suspect were taken into custody by police Tuesday following a gang-related brawl near the intersection of Jacqueline Way and Avenue C, the release said.

The teen was armed with a loaded handgun when he was arrested and police believe he was the gunman in the drive-by shooting on Hale Way, the release said.

Christian Espinoza was arrested today at his home in the 3200 block of Antelope Road, the release said, and he is believed to have been the driver during the shooting.

This morning, SWAT teams from the sheriff's department and Medford police as well as detectives from both agencies swarmed four White City residences linked to the suspects, the release said.

Two warrants were served in the 3200 block of Antelope Road, one in the 2700 block of Falcon Drive and a fourth in 800 block of Isabella Way, the release said.

Police seized several items from the four residences related to the shooting, but no guns or drugs were seized, the release said. A stolen bicycle was recovered.

The May 7 drive-by shooting on Hale Way took place at about 7 p.m., the release said. A blue Pontiac Sunfire with four male occupants, one of whom was blasting a shotgun out the window, was seen leaving the area at a high rate of speed before crashing into a yard, nearly running over the resident of that home. Suspects ran from the crashed car, leaving a shotgun behind, officials said.

Another drive-by was reported April 26 near the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Avenue H, prompting a man whose home was hit by gunfire then to start an armed patrol of the neighborhood.

— Sam Wheeler