A suspected gang member was arrested Sunday afternoon after police found a loaded handgun and drugs in his car, a police sergeant said. Officers responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle in the 800 block of West Ninth Street around 1:10 p.m., Sgt. John Cregan said. A resident told police dispatch that the driver of the vehicle was seen driving in the area on Saturday and brandished a firearm during an altercation, according to Cregan.
An officer searching the area saw the suspect vehicle, a 1984 cream colored two-door Cadillac El Dorado sedan, traveling on Guerneville and Marlow roads, he said. The officer followed the vehicle as it pulled into a private residential driveway in the 1100 block of Ethan Drive, according to Cregan. The driver of the vehicle, later identified as 19-year-old Lyle Albert Salez IV, of Santa Rosa, was contacted by the officer, he said.
Salez’s 18-year-old girlfriend was in the vehicle with him, Cregan said. The officer searched the vehicle and found a hidden compartment near the steering wheel containing a loaded semi-automatic 9mm handgun easily accessible to the driver, Cregan said.
Cocaine, marijuana and concentrated cannabis were found in the passenger side of the vehicle, according to Cregan. Salez is an active suspected gang member who admitted to driving around the neighborhood because he was “looking for problems” if faced by a rival gang, Cregan said.
Salez was arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of possession of cocaine for sales, possession of marijuana for sales, transportation and sales of marijuana, possession of drugs while armed with a loaded handgun, possession or use of a false compartment for drugs, manufacture of controlled substances, and being armed during the commission of a felony, according to Cregan.
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