Berkeley police officers on patrol recovered two illegal firearms during car stops over the weekend, authorities report.
The stops took place Friday night and early Sunday morning within less than 2 miles of each other.
The first incident took place Friday, at about 9:30 p.m., when an officer stopped a vehicle at Sixth and Jones streets in northwest Berkeley for a vehicle code violation, according to a prepared statement from BPD.
During a vehicle search unrelated to the violation, Officer Jesse Grant found a loaded firearm beneath the driver’s seat: “Further investigation revealed that the firearm had been reported stolen,” BPD said.
The driver was identified as 31-year-old Gerald Alderson of Sacramento. He was arrested on suspicion of carrying a concealed firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of narcotics paraphernalia and possession of stolen property. He was taken to Berkeley Jail.
The next stop took place at 12:30 a.m. Sunday when Officer Benjamin Phelps stopped a vehicle at Acton Street and University Avenue, again for a vehicle code violation.
He too found a loaded firearm on the floor under the driver’s seat. He inspected the gun and saw that its serial number had been removed, BPD said.
Driver Jalen Bryant, 22, of Oakland was arrested on suspicion of carrying a loaded firearm in public, carrying a concealed firearm and possession of a firearm without an identification mark. He was taken to Berkeley Jail.
Alderson was charged Monday, according to court records online, and remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $75,000. He is set for a pretrial hearing Oct. 4 at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland.
Bryant remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $87,500. He is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday morning at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland.
“The Berkeley Police Department takes great pride in our ongoing efforts to take illegally possessed firearms off the streets and helping make our community a safer place,” BPD said in the statement.