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Ceres police make 6 felony arrests for Modesto PD
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Ceres police officers helped apprehend seven persons in two days relating to homicide and attempted homicide cases in Modesto.

Officer Dan Fairchild was on patrol in the area of Mitchell and Hatch roads Jan. 25 when he spotted an SUV that matched the description of a vehicle related to a fatal shooting at a Modesto store in which three persons were fatally wounded. At 2:16 p.m. Fairchild spotted a green Honda CRV being driven southbound on Mitchell Road, and pulled it over into the parking lot of Kentucky Fried Chicken/A&W at Hatch and Mitchell.

Backup from Ceres and Modesto police and the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office arrived quickly and assisted in the felony traffic stop. Removed from the vehicle were three teenagers linked with the market shooting about 17 minutes previously. Charged with murder, robbery and burglary were Oloth "Dicky" Phommahaxay, 18, Sophon Theoun Ting, 16, and Chris Douangkham, 15. The two juveniles will be tried by the Stanislaus County District Attorney's office as adults. All three plead innocent last week.

Prosecutors believe that Phommahaxay broke into family-owned V&V Oriental Market with the intent to commit burglary but that things escalated into a gun attack against store owners Vanh Thammavongsa, 55, and wife, Phouvieng, 49. Their developmentally disabled daughter, Nancy, 28, was shot and pronounced brain dead earlier last week.

No specifics were given about the role played by Ting and Douangkham at the store, which is located in the 1300 block of Yosemite Boulevard east of Santa Cruz Avenue.

Ceres Police Lt. Brent Smith shuddered to think what could have happen had the homicide suspects decided to put up a fight.

"Fairchild did a great job because it could have gotten ugly," said Smith.

In another incident the previous day, Modesto Police had no available resources to track down a charter bus containing numerous suspect tied to a Modesto homicide so Ceres police came to their aid.

At 11:59 a.m. on Jan. 24, Modesto Police called CPD to check on a bus believed to contain suspects from a Jan. 21 homicide case near Orville Wright School in the Modesto Airport district. The bus, which runs passenger service from California to Mexico, was known to stop at Hatch and Herndon. Ceres police detective Derek Perry spotted and followed the bus southbound Highway 99 and notified the California Highway Patrol. The bus was stopped on the Shanks Road exit in Delhi where eight passengers were ordered off the bus and four were detained.

The four suspects were Armando Cervantes, 19, of Modesto, Alessandra Sanchez, 19, of Ceres, a 17-year-old Modesto juvenile male and a 16-year-old boy who lives in Ceres. Each was arrested on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and criminal conspiracy, with added gang enhancements. The two juveniles were not named.

Juvenal Rodriguez, 19, of Modesto, was killed in the Modesto shooting.