4 charged with 12 felonies; search nets drugs, guns, cash

The Berkeley Police Department arrested four people in two East Oakland apartments earlier this month in connection with large amounts of drugs and cash, and several firearms. Image source: Google Maps
The Berkeley Police Department arrested four people in east Oakland earlier this month in connection with large amounts of drugs and cash, and the possession of five firearms, one of which had been reported stolen. Image source: Google Maps

A Berkeley Police Department operation in east Oakland earlier this month resulted in the arrests of four people who were charged with 12 felonies, and led to the seizure of more than 300 marijuana plants, more than $100,000 in cash, three handguns and two rifles.

All four Oakland residents remain in custody at this time, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department.

According to court documents, the Berkeley Police Department served a search warrant on Jan. 15 at at 1225 and 1228 91st Ave. in Oakland.

At 1225 91st, the home of Bruno Ortiz, 31, and Oscar Mariscal, 27, according to police, authorities recovered about three kilograms of cocaine packaged for sale; about 14 ounces of marijuana packaged for sale; 58 marijuana plants weighing 37.5 pounds; three handguns; one SKS semi-automatic rifle; and one Saiga/Canta assault rifle.


Police said, according to court documents, that one of the guns had been reported stolen.

In the other apartment, which police said was the home of Leonides Mejia, 34, and Patrica Galvan, 27, police recovered 269 marijuana plants weighing 77.7 pounds; about one pound of marijuana that had been packaged for sale; and $113,435 in cash.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats declined to comment on how the investigation came about.

The department’s investigation is continuing and “we don’t have any specific information to share with regards to details in this case,” she said, via email. She added, in response to a question from Berkeleyside, that “it is not uncommon for narcotics investigations to take us into other jurisdictions in the region, as drug dealing operations don’t necessarily follow jurisdictional lines.”

According to the Jan. 17 complaint filed against the four defendants, all four were charged with one felony count of possession for sale of more than one kilogram of cocaine, along with a firearm clause. They were also charged with two felony counts of possession of marijuana for sale, along with a firearm clause.


The fourth and fifth felony counts against the defendants charged that they cultivated marijuana; the counts also included firearm clauses.

The district attorney’s office charged two felony counts related to the possession of cocaine while armed with the rifles, which include a special allegation related to state prison eligibility. There were also three felony counts related to the possession of cocaine while armed with the handguns.

Another felony charge was related to the possession of an assault weapon, and the final charge was related to the stolen gun.

According to the sheriff’s department, Mejia, Mariscal and Ortiz were arrested on Jan. 15; Galvan was arrested two days later. Mejia, Galvan and Ortiz are being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on a bail of $510,000 each. They are scheduled to enter their pleas after arraignment on Feb. 8 at 9 a.m. in Department 112 of the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.

Mariscal is being held with a bail of $1.155 million and is being held in the infirmary at Santa Rita Jail. He was scheduled to have entered a plea on Jan. 28 at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse.


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