BLAINE - Two known gang members were in jail Thursday, Jan. 17, on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with a shooting at Blaine's Golden Nut Company in December 2011.
After a prolonged investigation, Adrian Arturo Montelongo, 21, and Jose Luis Santos, 22, made statements that they were involved in the drive-by shooting at the peanut butter factory, said Whatcom County Undersheriff Jeff Parks.
An employee suffered a gunshot wound to the chest Dec. 4, 2011, in what prosecutors believe was retaliation for several violent clashes between the Brown Pride Surenos and the 18th Street gangs, dating back to an August 2011 shooting at the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden.
Four members of the BPS gang - Rogelio Fernando Solano, 22; Steve Ibarra, 19; Montelongo; and Santos - drove to the factory at 1555 Odell Road and flattened the passenger-side tires of Joe Guevara-Medina's car, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office.
Fernando Solano, a new employee at the factory, went inside and lifted up his shirt to Guevara-Medina, 21, to reveal a healing gunshot wound.
"Look what your homies did to me," Fernando Solano said, according to charging documents filed in court. "Now you are going to get a bullet."
At 6:30 p.m., as Guevara-Medina ended his 12-hour shift, he noticed something off about his car, according to the charges. He called his mother for a ride.
An old pickup without its lights on rolled around the corner. Guevara-Medina heard a door swing open, then the bang of a gunshot. He looked down to see blood flowing from his chest. He ran back into the warehouse. Coworkers called 911. Guevara-Medina was treated at St. Joseph hospital.
Fernando Solano didn't show up for work the next day. He was arrested later in the week on suspicion of first-degree murder. His case is ongoing.
Ibarra was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison earlier this month for another shooting. He intimidated a rival gang member's uncle by aiming a shotgun at him outside a Bellingham apartment complex.
Ibarra's involvement in the drive-by - and the identity of the gunman who shot Guevara-Medina - remain under investigation, according to the sheriff's office.
Montelongo was arrested late Wednesday. Santos was booked into Whatcom County Jail a few hours later. Neither suspect has been formally charged.
Reach Caleb Hutton at email@example.com or 360-715-2276. Read his Dispatcher blog at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher or get updates on Twitter at @bhamcrime.