Routine traffic stop in Covina leads to discovery of assault weapons

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COVINA >> A routine traffic stop in Covina late Thursday led to the seizure of two assault weapons, as well as the arrests of an Arcadia man and Glendora woman, officials said.
Officers recovered MAC-11 and MAC-12 machine pistols after pulling a car over shortly after 8 p.m. near Vincent Avenue and Arrow Highway, Covina police Lt. Tim Doonan said.
Police also recovered a small amount of methamphetamine and arrested the driver, 26-year-old Bryan Beljak of Arcadia, and passenger Amber Blakesley, 18, of Glendora, the lieutenant said.
An officer stopped a car for a traffic violation and noticed Beljak, a convicted felon, and Blakesley both appeared to be under the influence of drugs, Doonan said.
While searching the car, police found a MAC-11 9mm machine pistol and a MAC-12 .380-caliber machine pistol, Doonan said. Both are classified as illegal assault weapons in California.
Police also seized ammunition and two high-capacity magazines from the car, he said.
Beljak was jailed on suspicion of possession of assault weapons, being a felon in possession of firearms and being under the influence of a controlled substance, Doonan said. He was not booked for DUI as the investigation continued late Thursday.
Blakesley was booked on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance.
Beljak was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, while Blakesley was expected to be released from custody with a citation, Doonan said.

PHOTO courtesy of the Covina Police Department

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Convicted felons charged with ID theft, drug, gun crimes following arrest in Montebello

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MONTEBELLO >>MONTEBELLO >> Prosecutors Tuesday charged two convicted felons who were released previously released early from jail as a result of Proposition 47 with new charges including drug-, gun- and identity theft-related crimes after a traffic stop in Montebello last week led to their arrests, authorities said.
David Castaneda, 33, faces charges of unauthorized use of another person’s identifying information, fraudulent possession of another persons identifying information, two counts of being a convicted felon in possession of a gun, possession of drugs for sales and possession of a firearm with drugs, according to Montebello police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Jonathan Gonzales, 29, is accused of unauthorized use of another person’s identifying information and fraudulent possession of another person’s identifying information, Montebello police officials said in a written statement.
Castaneda was already on parole for robbery and was being sought as an parolee-at-large, police said. Gonzales was on parole for assault with a deadly weapon.
“Both suspects were early release parolees as a result of Proposition 47,” according to the statement.
Montebello police pulled over a car containing the two men about 12:30 a.m. on March 3 in their city, officials said.
“Castaneda was found in possession of several credit cards not in his name. Several stolen and altered checks were also located inside the vehicle in the names of different victims,” according tot he statement.”
“Gonzalez was found in possession of approximately 20 credit cards, drivers’ licenses, health insurance cards and credit receipts not in his name,” the statement continued.
Both men were arrested on suspicion of identity theft-related crimes.
A search of Castaneda’s South Gat home the follow day yielded two handguns, 12 ounces of methamphetamine, marijuana and property believed to have been obtained “through fraudulent means,” according to the statement.
Castaneda and Gonzales were each being held without bail, records show. Castaneda was scheduled to appear in Los Angeles Superior Court March 10, while Gonzalez was scheduled to appear in the same court March 18.

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Alhambra police capture escaped Pennsylvania convict and recover stolen car, phony credit cards, handgun, $13,000 in cash

ALHAMBRA >> An automated license plate reader helped Alhambra police capture an escaped fugitive from Pennsylvania and a second man found riding in a stolen SUV with phony credit cards, $13,000 in cash and a loaded .45-caliber handgun Friday, authorities said.
A police officer was patrolling about 11 a.m. along Garfield Avenue, just south of Valley Boulevard, when an automated license plate reader mounted on his patrol car notified him it had detected a stolen car, Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson said.
The officer called for backup in preparation to pull the 2016 Ford Flex over, but before he could do so, the SUV rounded a corner and pulled into the parking lot of a restaurant and Valley Boulevard and 2nd Street, the sergeant said.
Police detained the driver, 46-year-old Ronald Bang of Pasadena, and passenger, 64-year-old Robert Richard Zgurzec, without a struggle, Johnson said.
“We searched the car. We found a loaded .45-caliber semi-auto handgun,”Johnson said.
Police also recovered a back containing more than $13,000 in cash, he said.
“As they keep searching, they’re finding different IDs, different debit and credit cards,” Johnson said. The documents were in the names of other people.
The SUV itself had been reported stolen last month in the Victorville area, Sgt. Joseph Mallette said.
Police soon learned that authorities in Pennsylvania had been seeking Zgurzec since “on or about Feb. 3,” when he escaped from a halfway house while serving a sentence for wire fraud, Johnson said.
Zgurzec was booked on suspicion of auto theft, possession of fraudulent credit and debit cards and being a felon in possession of a gun, officials said. Authorities in Pennsylvania have issued a “no bail” warrant for Zgurzec’s arrest.
Bang was booked on suspicion of auto theft and possession of fraudulent credit and debit cards, officials said.
Alhambra police were working with the U.S. Marshal’s service to determine whether Zgurzec would be returned to Pennsylvania before or after facing charges in California, Johnson said.
Bang was being held at the Alhambra Police Department’s jail in lieu of $25,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, while Zgurzec was transferred to a Los Angeles jail facility due to a pre-existing medical problem, he said. Zgurzec was being held without bail.

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Police: Felon found in possession of assault rifle, sawed off shotgun, handgun, ammo, drugs in Whittier

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WHITTIER >> What began as a routine traffic accident investigation earlier this week ended with police arresting of the involved drivers, a convicted felon, after finding an AK-47-style rifle, a sawed-off shotgun, a handgun and drugs in his car, authorities said.
Joshua David Fink, 38, was booked on suspicion of being convicted felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, possession of illegal weapons, possession of drugs while armed and existing warrants following his Wednesday morning arrest, according to Whittier police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Police responded to a two-car crash shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday in the 15400 block of Whittier Boulevard, Whittier police Lt. Mike Przybyl said. Further details were not available regarding the collision itself, but it was not believed to involved any major injuries.
“As paramedics were treating one of the drivers, they noticed a handgun hidden in the car,” police said in a written statement. “Officers conducted a field investigation and recovered a handgun, assault rifle, sawed-off shotgun, ammunition and drugs from the vehicle.”
Fink appeared in Bellflower Superior Court Friday, where he was charged with seven gun- and drug-related crimes, court documents show. His arraignment hearing was postponed until Monday, officials said.

PHOTO courtesy of the Whittier Police Department.

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Pasadena man accused of carrying loaded gun for second time


PASADENA >> Police jailed an 18-year-old Pasadena man who was already on felony probation for weapons violations Friday after again finding him with a loaded handgun, officials said.
A complaint of loud music at about 12:15 a.m. first brought officers to the Kings Villages apartment complex along Claremont Street, just west of Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
While looking for the source of the music, officers encountered a man — later identified as David Salgado of Pasadena — in one of the complex’s parking lots, Mercado said. He ran from police, tossing a loaded .38-caliber revolver into a bush as he fled.
Officers chased down Salgado and took him into custody, the lieutenant said. The handgun was recovered.
He was booked on suspicion of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, as well as other weapon-related crimes, Mercado said.
Salgado, who was already on felony probation after pleading “no contest” to carrying a loaded handgun in public in September of last year, was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, Los Angeles County Superior Court and booking records show.

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Felons arrested in Glendora with gun, suspected stolen property


GLENDORA >> Watchful neighbors helped Glendora police nab to convicted felons with a loaded handgun and items stolen from throughout the area early Wednesday, authorities said.
Gilbert Gonzalez, 25, and Gabriel Ibarra, 34, both of Pico Rivera, were jailed about 7 a.m., Glendora police Lt. Scott Strong said. Residents had called police about 5:30 a.m. to report a suspicious person looking into cars and homes in a neighborhood in the 500 block of Comstock Avenue, but the person was not found.
But police spotted a man matching the description of the prowler sitting in a car an hour-and-a-half later at Cullen and Bennett avenues, Strong said. He was accompanied by another man, and each was sitting in their own vehicle.
Gonzalez ran but was soon captured, the lieutenant said. Police arrested Ibarra without a struggle.
Inside their cars, police found a loaded handgun, as well as numerous items believed to have been stolen from car break-ins in Glendora, Monrovia, and other nearby cities, he said.
They were booked on suspicion of being felons in possession of a firearm, possession of stolen property and identity theft, Strong said.
According to county booking records, Gonzalez was being held without bail, while Ibarra was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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San Bernardino felon brothers arrested in Irwindale with stolen car, gun, phony credit cards

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IRWINDALE >> A routine traffic stop Saturday led police to arrest two San Bernardino brother — both convicted felons — riding in a stolen car along with an unregistered handgun and identity theft materials, officials said.
Donnie Jesse Reyes, 27, and Ricardo Augustine Reyes, 37, were each booked on suspicion of taking a car without the owner’s consent, possession of fraudulent credit cards, possession of a concealed firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to Irwindale police Sgt. Rudy Gatto
An officer on patrol about 4:20 p.m. at Vincent Avenue and Arrow Highway noticed a black, 2005 Infiniti QX SUV with dealer plates make a traffic violation and pulled it over, police said. Donnie Reyes was at the wheel.
“During the officer’s investigation, he learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen to the California Highway Patrol (Santa Fe Springs office) in July, 2015,” Gatto said.
After arresting the two men for auto theft, a search of the car turned up an unregistered, .380-caliber handgun, along with fraudulent or altered credit cards and other people’s identifying documents, officials said.
“It was also learned that both of the suspects were convicted felons prohibited from possessing firearms,” Gatto added.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Donnie Reyes was being held in lieu of $145,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Wednesday in West Covina Superior Court. Ricardo Reyes, described by police as a documented gang member, was being held in lieu of $45,000 pending his arraignment, scheduled for the same date and courthouse.

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Ontario man arrested in Covina with three guns, ski mask, cash

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COVINA >> Police arrested a probationer found with three handguns, a ski mask and cash in Covina Saturday afternoon, police said.
Police pulled over a car in which Thomas Michael Mulero, 28, of Ontario was riding as a passenger in just before 5 p.m. at Citrus Avenue and Rowland Street, Covina police Lt. Ric Walczak said. Officers stopped the car after noticing Mulero drinking beer.
A search of Mulero’s backpack turned up two semi-automatic pistols and one revolver, the lieutenant said. Police also seized a ski mask from the car and cash from Mulero’s person.
Mulero was jailed on suspicion of weapons violations, investigation of robbery and investigation of receiving stolen property as detectives continued looking into where the guns and cash came from, Walczak said.
The woman driving the car, as well as a second woman riding as a passenger, were not arrested.
Walczak said Mulero is already on Post Release Community Supervision, or felony probation, under AB 109 guidelines for a previous assault conviction.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Mulero was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending an arraignment hearing, scheduled Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.

PHOTO courtesy of the Covina Police Department.

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Police: Convicted felon found napping in car in Pasadena with loaded handgun


PASADENA >> Police arrested a man on suspicion of being a convicted felon in possession of a gun after finding him napping in an parked car in Pasadena late Friday, officials said.
Officers responded to the 2900 block of Margaret Drive about 11:15 p.m. after someone called police to report seeing an “unresponsive male” inside a parked car, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
Police found Richard Bojorquez, 35, of Monrovia inside the car and began speaking with him, the lieutenant said. Officers learned he was on probation, and ultimately found a loaded .22-caliber handgun inside his car, along with a small amount of methamphetamine.
Bojorquez was arrested without a struggle, Mercado added.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Bojorquez was being held in lieu of $65,00 bail pending his initial court appearance.

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La Habra search warrant nets 3 arrests, 36 guns, 40 pounds of marijuana, $44,700 cash

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LA HABRA >> Police arrested three people and seized a large cache of guns, including assault weapons, marijuana and cash during three early-morning raids in La Habra stemming from an ongoing drug investigation, authorities said.
La Habra police were joined by local, county and federal counterparts as they carried out search warrants about 3 a.m. in the 1400 block of West Lambert Road, the 1200 block of North Cypress Street and the 600 block of South Palm Avenue, La Habra police officials said in written statement.
“Searches at these locations led to the discovery and confiscation of 11 assault rifles, 25 handguns, 12 illegal 30-round assault rifle magazines, and parts to build another 12 assault rifles,” according to the police statement.
Investigators also seized about 40 pounds of marijuana and $44,600 in suspected drug proceeds, police said.
Arrested were Adam James Kinney, 28, Grant David Winn, 30, and Kristina Thompson, 25, all of La Habra, according to La Habra police and Orange County booking records.
They were booked on suspicion of drug-related crimes, as well as child endangerment, officials said.
Kinney was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, while Winn and Thompson were being held in lieu of $100,000 bail each, records show.

PHOTO courtesy of the La Habra Police Department.

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