An amateur rap video featuring gangs, guns and drugs catches the eye of Merced police. Now those gang members are behind bars. We have the exclusive story of the video that helped police build their case. At least 13 known gang members have been arrested. Police say they promoted their life-style and their weapons in music videos posted on social media. The videos linked the gang members to assault-style weapons.
The case started with information picked up by gang officers, that assault weapons, that could fire a lot of rounds, very fast, were on the streets. Then they discovered evidence that put those weapons in the hands of gang members. This is the video that helped Merced police make their case. An amateur rap video called ‘Body Bag.’ Discovered by the Merced Police Department and provided to Eyewitness News. It was made by gang members, showing off their weapons, talking about shooting people in the head, and putting them in a body bag.
“Body bag gang, dig it,” a gang member rapped on the video.
“And the weapons used in the video were not props,” said Merced police captain Matt Williams.
Merced police captain Matt Williams says officers recovered the assault style weapons shown in the music video.
An AK-47 type rifle and a MAC-11. one gun was found in a search warrant. The other when an officer pulled over gang members.
And when investigators found the ‘Body Bag’ rap video, and another music video on social media, it allowed the officers to show those deadly weapons were in the hands of gang members.
“They will post themselves doing illegal things on social media and they sometimes make it easy for law enforcement to go after them,” Captain Williams said. Police say the videos were shot in Merced. Part of them shot here at this industrial complex in south Merced. Because the gang members used an area that was mostly deserted at night, there was nothing to draw the attention of police. But then the videos were put on social media for anyone to see. And word spread, the gang had powerful weapons. But they don’t any more. This case is still under investigation. so more arrests may be made.