Operation Red Rooster suspects charged with drug trafficking offenses

The drug bust in Merced County has resulted in five suspects facing decades in federal prison.

Five people were indicted by a federal grand jury for crimes related to a drug trafficking operation. 

The suspects were involved in Merced County’s Operation Red Rooster, a long-term investigation into gang violence and drug trafficking. 


The big picture: Fernando Arrellano, 36, Isaiah Serena, 40, Jason Mott, 49, David Gonzales, 45 and Christopher Baca-Arias, 18, were all charged with crimes related to drug trafficking. 

  • Arellano, Serena and Mott were charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. 
  • Serena and Mott were also charged with distribution of methamphetamine. 
  • Serena, Mott Gonzales and Baca-Arias were charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, and Serna, Gonzales and Baca-Arias were also charged with the distribution of fentanyl. 
  • Serena also was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. 

Driving the news: Serena and Mott operated a drug trafficking operation centered on a self-storage business in Merced, according to court documents. 

  • Arellano supplied methamphetamine, while Baca-Arias supplied fentanyl. 
  • Gonzales worked for Serena and Mott. 
  • The investigation found that the conspirators distributed over 40 pounds of methamphetamine and two pounds of fentanyl. 

What we’re watching: Arellano, Serena, Mott and Gonzales face a maximum of life in prison and a $10 million fine if convicted. 

  • Baca-Arias faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine if convicted. 
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