Ex-cons arrested for burglary, gun possession in Pasadena

PASADENA >> Police arrested two convicted felons from Mission Hills in connection with a Pasadena auto burglary early Saturday and seized a loaded handgun from their car, officials said.
Officers conducting a “directed patrol” aimed at suppressing burglaries about 4:50 a.m. spotted a parked car that had been broken into at Colorado and San Gabriel boulevards, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
The also saw another car driving in the immediate area and pulled it over, suspecting it may have been related to the break-in, he said.
Both the driver, Cornelio Felix, 33, and passenger, Giovanni Prado, 21, were wearing gloves, Mercado said. Police soon discovered that Felix was an ex-convict, and Prado was on Post-Release Community Supervision following a robbery conviction under California’s AB 109 guidelines, which allows “non-violent, non-serious and non-sex offenders” to be dealt with by county jails and probation agencies, rather than state prisons and parole agents.
Mercado said police found a loaded handgun under the passenger seat of suspects’ car, along with burglary tools in the back.
Felix and Prado were both booked on suspicion of burglary, Mercado said. Prado was additionally accused of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
According to county booking records, Felix and Prado were released from custody later in the morning pending their initial court appearances after posting $20,000 and $50,000 bail, respectively.

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Ex-felon with gun arrested during Pasadena traffic stop

PASADENA >> A routine traffic stop Friday night ended with the arrest of a convicted felon in possession of a loaded handgun, police said.
Adrian Rodriguez, 22, of Pasadena was arrested following the 8 p.m. encounter at Raymond Avenue and Villa Street, according to Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado.
Gang unit officers patrolling the area pulled over a car for a traffic violation, he said.
“As their conducting their investigation, they found the gun in the passenger compartment,” Mercado said. The weapon was described as a loaded 9mm handgun.
Rodriguez, who was recently discharged from parole for burglary, is barred from possessing firearms.
According to county booking records, Rodriguez was being held in lieu of $35,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

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Repeat felon found sleeping in car with loaded gun in Pasadena

PASADENA >> Police arrested an armed ex-convict with a long criminal history early Sunday after finding him asleep in a parked car with a loaded handgun, authorities said.
Hayrapet Oganesyan, 29, of Glendale is accused of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm about 9 a.m. in the 400 block of South San Rafael Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
Someone called police to report a suspicious person in a vehicle parked in the residential neighborhood, the lieutenant said.
Officers arrived and found Oganesyan, along with a woman, asleep inside a car, he said.
As police tried to get Oganesyan’s attention and ask him what he was doing, an officer saw a loaded .40-caliber handgun sitting on the vehicle’s floorboard, Clawson said.
Police took Oganesyan into custody without a struggle, he added. The woman was not arrested.
According to county booking record, Oganesyan’s criminal record dates back to 2004, when he was 18 years old.
He has casing pending for accusations of drug possession and possession of paraphernalia, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records.
He was convicted of drug possession, drug sales, possession of drugs for sales, being a felon in possession of a firearm in December of 2014, records show. He was sentenced to 180 days in county jail, but released less than three months later in late-February.
Oganesyan was also has conviction including domestic battery, drug-related crimes, false impersonation and forgery, court records show.

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Man arrested for gun possession at Pasadena park

PASADENA >> Police jailed a man late Friday after finding him carrying a loaded handgun at a busy city park, officials said.
Officers were patrolling about 9 p.m. Robinson Park, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave., which was crowded with visitors, when they noticed a man who began quickly walking away from them, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
As the officers followed, they saw the man discard a .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol beneath a parked car, he said.
Lawrence Dixon, 49, of Pasadena was arrested on suspicion of carrying a concealed and loaded handgun in public.
He was being held in lieu of $35,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, according to Los Angeles County booking records.

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Tipster points out armed man to police in Old Pasadena

PASADENA >> An observant witness helped police arrest a man carrying a loaded gun in Old Pasadena early Sunday, officials said.
Gary Thompson, 30, of Alhambra was booked on suspicion of carrying a concealed handgun following his arrest shortly after 1:30 a.m. in an alley between Colorado Boulevard and Green Street, just west of North Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
Officers were patrolling Old Pasadena on foot when a tipster approached them and pointed out a man he said was carrying a gun, Mercado said.
As officers went to speak with the alleged gun-toting man, he ran, the lieutenant said. The suspect, later identified as Thompson, threw a loaded .40-caliber handgun into a trash as he ran before surrendering to the pursuing officers.

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18-year-old Pasadena man accused of carrying loaded gun

PASADENA >> Police responding to reports of a group of people gambling Wednesday ended up arresting a young man on suspicion of gun possession and seizing a loaded revolver, officials said.
Khy Shawn Charles, 18, of Pasadena was booked on suspicion of possession of a loaded firearm, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Police responded to a report of people playing dice in a cul-de-sac in the 100 block of West Pepper Street, police said.
“As they got there, one subject ran,” Clawson said. Pursing officers captured the fleeing suspect, later identified as Charles, in the 100 block of West Claremont Street.
Upon retracing the steps of the foot chase, police found a loaded revolver believed to have been discarded by the suspect as he ran by, Clawson said.
While police were still investigating where the revolver came from, Clawson reminded gun owners to be responsible and lock up their firearms to prevent them from being stolen and falling into the wrong hands.
A handgun was stolen Monday from an unlocked car parked at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Clawson said. The gun was not the same as that recovered during Wednesday’s arrest.
In Monday’s incident, a man came returned to his car to discover a revolver had been stolen from his car, which had been left unlocked, Clawson said. The theft was not reported until Tuesday.

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West Covina man arrested; cache of guns, drugs seized from home

WEST COVINA >> A police task force arrested a convicted felon Tuesday and seized a cache of 27 guns — including an assault rifle, thousands of rounds of ammunition and methamphetamine during a probation compliance check at his West Covina home, officials said.
Michael Louis Urac, 42, is accused of possession of an unauthorized assault weapon, possession of firearms by a convicted felon and possession of controlled substances and a firearm, according to Pomona police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The bust took place about 7:30 a.m. at Urac’s home in the 100 block of North Lang Avenue in West Covina, Pomona police Sgt. Bert Sanchez of the San Gabriel Valley East AB Task Force said in a written statement. Officers showed up for a probations compliance sweep, as Urac is on probation from am previous drug-related conviction.
Task force members found Urac at the home and arrested him after finding him to be in possession of methamphetamine, Sanchez said.
“During the subsequent search of his residence, a false door was located within the garage,” the sergeant said. In it were several rifles, including an assault rifle with scope and laser, and thousands of rounds of live ammunition. Several more rifles were located inside a separate bedroom belonging to the suspect. In total, 26 rifled (and) shotguns were recovered, including an assault rifle.”
Police also seized several high-capacity magazines from Urac’s home and a loaded, .380-caliber handgun from his car, Sanchez said.
According to county booking records, Urac posted $50,000 bail and the same day of his arrest and was released from custody pending his initial court appearance.
The San Gabriel Valley East AB 109 Task Force is comprised of officers from 10 San Gabriel Valley police agencies, officials said. The team’s primary task is conducting compliance checks on convicts released from custody under the guidelines of AB 109, also known as the 2011 Public Safety Realignment.

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Truck containing 5 guns stolen from restaurant parking lot in Whittier

WHITTIER — A pickup truck with four pistols and an AR-15-style rifle was stolen from a restaurant parking lot in Whittier Saturday night, police said.
The theft was reported about 10 p.m. outside Marie Callender’s, 9829 La Serna Drive, Whittier police Lt. Steve Dean said. It has been parked since 7:30 p.m. before the owner of the white, 2006 Chevrolet Silverado discovered it missing.
Inside the bed of the truck, under a tonneau cover, were three Glock pistols, one Smith & Wesson pistol, and one AR-15-style rifle, Dean said.
It was unclear whether ammunition accompanied the weapons, or why the guns were in the truck. The possession of firearms inside vehicles is permitted under state law, provided the weapons are unloaded and properly stored.

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Suspected members of Mexican drug cartel arrested by ATF

Received an interesting DOJ press release this afternoon that talks about the arrest of four local men involved in running guns and drugs for a Mexican drug cartel, right here in the San Gabriel Valley.
Here’s some of what is says:

An investigation into guns being trafficked from Arizona to California has led to the arrest of four individuals, one of whom sold several machine guns to a undercover operative and claimed to be tied to a Mexican drug cartel.

        The four defendants were arrested early this morning by special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department. During the course of the 10-month investigation, authorities purchased or seized 50 firearms, including 17 guns that were discovered during the execution of search warrants this morning.

        During the investigation, an undercover operative made a series of gun purchases from three of the defendants. The purchases included guns similar to AK-47s, Uzis and AR-15s, some of which were fully automatic weapons.

        Those arrested today are:

  • Edgardo Prado Casteneda, aka “Primo,” 26, of Azusa, who claimed to be a Southern California operative of the La Familia drug cartel based in Michoacan, Mexico;
  • Vicente Garcia Jr., aka “Chevy,” 38, of Azusa;
  • Steven Scott Blanks, 47, of Norco; and
  • Victor Velasquez, aka “Fingers,” 34, of El Monte, who is accused of delivering a quarter-pound of methamphetamine that was purchased by the undercover operative.

The four defendants are scheduled to make their initial appearances this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles.


 The arrests were made today as Prado apparently made plans to collect a “debt” and possibly kidnap a man he said owed money to La Familia. Over the past several weeks, Prado allegedly had a series of conversations with the undercover operative about helping collect a large “debt” that a man owed to La Familia. According to the affidavit, Prado told the informant that a boss in the cartel that he called “Cuete” had sent a courier to Mexico to transport narcotics, but the courier was arrested and provided information to Mexican authorities that led to the arrest of another high-ranking cartel member in Mexico City. As a result of this, “Cuete” owed the Cartel $3 million. If the informant participated in the collection of the “debt,” Prado promised him a share of money that would be paid by the cartel.

        A criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles charges Prado with selling firearms without a license and distributing methamphetamine.

        Garcia is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

        Blanks is charged with possession of a machine gun.

        Velasquez is charged with distribution of methamphetamine.

        If convicted of the crimes alleged in the criminal complaint, the defendants would face maximum potential sentences of at least 10 years in prison.

An affidavit filed in federal court and attached here details gun deals, drug deals and talk of contract murder and kidnapping. All apparently connected to “La Familia,” a Mexican drug cartel. Here’s all the details 

cartel gun runner – affidavit.pdf


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