The Merced County District Attorney's Investigations Division has a staff of ten sworn peace officers and three investigative assistants. These include the Chief Investigator and the Supervising Investigator. Personnel in the unit are quartered in the District Attorney's main office located in the City of Merced. This unit also supports operations at the branch office located in Los Banos.
The mission of the Investigations Division spans three separate functions: to provide quality and timely investigative support for the prosecutorial function of the Office of the District Attorney; to conduct criminal investigations; and to participate in countywide law enforcement task forces.
Prosecutorial Function: Generally the Investigations Division conducts follow-up investigations on cases submitted to the District Attorney from law enforcement agencies. These include homicides, sexual assaults, robberies, gang cases, narcotics, insurance fraud, and other serious felonies. The investigations prepare the case for trial or final disposition by the District Attorney.
Investigative Function: The Division assumes original jurisdiction and is the primary investigative entity on a wide variety of cases. These cases include those mandated by statute, those outside the normal scope of local law enforcement cases, those where a conflict exists, or those where the Division has an established center of expertise. Examples of these cases include crimes committed by public officials, parental child abductions, Brown Act violations, conflict of interest crimes, real estate fraud crimes, and other major white collar crimes.
Participaton in Countywide Task Forces: The division assigns personnel to countywide task forces including the Merced Multiple Agency Gang Task force. Chief Investigator Pat Lunney currently chairs the Gang Task Force Council. District Attorney Investigator Albert Flores currently supervises the Gang Task Force.