Police arrested a man and two teenagers last Friday night after finding a stolen handgun, a second firearm and a large amount of marijuana in their car during a traffic stop south of the UC Berkeley campus.
Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said officers conducted a vehicle stop shortly before 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, at Haste and Dana streets.
“As they approached the vehicle they could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from the passenger compartment,” she said via email. “They also observed a bag of marijuana on the floor board in plain view.”
Police searched the driver, 20-year-old Ivan Mendoza of Oakland, and found bullets in his pants pocket, according to Coats.
They also searched a passenger, and found a loaded handgun in his front pocket. Police did a records check on the weapon and found it to have been stolen out of Kensington.
One officer found a loaded handgun under the front passenger seat, which was the same caliber as the bullets in the driver’s pocket, said Coats.
Officers recovered “a large amount of marijuana” from the vehicle, as well as evidence of sales, she said.
All three of the vehicle’s occupants were arrested.
Mendoza was booked on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, the concealed firearm, carrying a loaded firearm in public, driving on a suspended license and marijuana sales. He also was arrested on suspicion of probation violation and having ammunition on him, which is prohibited due to his criminal history. (According to the Alameda County sheriff’s department he was sentenced in 2012 after several burglaries in Hayward.)
Both passengers, 15-year-old and 16-year-old males from San Leandro, were arrested in connection with the concealed firearm, having a loaded firearm in public and marijuana sales.
Mendoza remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $160,000, and was scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Thursday, Aug. 28. He is scheduled for a preliminary examination hearing, when a judge will determine whether there is enough evidence for the case to move forward, Sept. 8, according to the sheriff’s department.
No further information was available regarding the juveniles due to privacy laws that protect minors.
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