Two suspected gang members affiliated with the Texas Chicano Brotherhood are now off the streets.

They were targeted by investigators who were able to locate them outside Rio Grande City thanks in part by the San Juan Gang Unit.  Investigators serving arrest warrants capture 19-year-old Emmanuel Alexis Chapa in the community of Santa Cruz, and 28-year-old Ryan Villarreal in the community of Las Lomas.

The two are facing aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges among other crimes.  Their arrests are the result of a collaboration effort between Starr County law enforcement and the San Juan Gang Unit.

San Juan Police Chief, Juan Gonzalez says they are the local go-to guys when others need to track known gang members to help speed up investigations.  San Juan police has investigators dedicated full time to feeding this database that helps them identify and locate gang members and gangs operating throughout the Rio Grande valley.

Currently there are 39 gangs and up to 700 gang members operating in the region.

With 3 full-time gang investigators operating the unit since 2009, Gonzalez says they track gangsters by nicknames, tattoos, and cars. Those who make the list usually have an extensive criminal record and known affiliation, helping law enforcement keep an eye on their activities.  The San Juan Gang Unit in turn works with state investigators to build a comprehensive record on gangs.

Chapa and Villarreal have been transferred to the Starr County jail.