Hollister Police arrested three local men whom police called “gang associates” on suspicion of possession of a firearm after conducting a vehicle stop for a traffic violation, authorities reported.
About 10:57pm June 1, a Hollister police officer was on patrol in the area of Highway 25 and Sunnyslope Road when he saw a vehicle make a traffic violation, reads a June 7 press release.
The officer stopped the vehicle and contacted all three occupants, who are “known gang associates,” according to police. The three occupants of the vehicle were identified as Francisco Silva, Jessie Flores and Jose Ceja.
The officer found that Silva, who was driving, was under the influence of alcohol and drugs, police said. As officers continued to search the vehicle, they found a loaded handgun inside the car. The weapon was accessible to all three suspects. All three were arrested.
Silva was booked on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a crime, carrying a loaded handgun in a public place and DUI, reads the press release. Flores was arrested on suspicion of carrying a loaded handgun in a public place, conspiracy to commit a crime and a warrant. Ceja was booked for allegedly carrying a loaded firearm in a public place and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Anyone with information about this investigation can call Hollister Police Officer Miguel Masso at (831) 636-4330. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.