Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents joined the Corpus Christi Police Department's SWAT team to execute two raids simultaneously Tuesday morning in hopes of shutting down a drug operation believed to be operated by the Texas Syndicate prison gang.
"I was up in the bathroom getting ready for work and a couple of gunshots go off," said Joe Bangert, a nearby resident who heard gunfire during the raids. "I just hit the floor."
Police said the sounds residents thought were gunshots were actually flashbang grenades that went off just after 7 a.m. in the 5200 block of Williams, near Betty Jean Drive. Federal agents said they found seven pounds of marijuana in that home and arrested 22-year old Aaron Trevino, a convicted felon.
At the same time, the SWAT team converged on a home on Mary Street on the northside of town. A resident there said she was not surprised to see police in her neighborhood.
"Well, I've been cautious because, like a month ago, a guy tried to break into my house and he then went next door and he got into their house, and he had a gun on him," the homeowner said. "So I've been cautious of that too, as well."
ATF agents said 24-year old Nicole Villarreal was arrested at the home on Mary Street. Investigators said she had an outstanding state felony drug warrant for her arrest.
Federal agents said the raids were part of an ongoing investigation into the Texas Syndicate prison gang.