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October 2, 2023

Police find rifles, body armor in vehicle

Suspect arrested following traffic stop

Hollister Police found firearms and body armor in a suspect’s vehicle after making a DUI stop early Saturday morning.

About 2:13am Aug. 17, Hollister Police Sgt. James Weathers pulled over a vehicle and detained the driver on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, according to police. The driver, who was the only occupant of the vehicle, was identified as Hollister resident Michael Mendoza, 31.

Hollister Police Officer Nick Rudolfs arrived to the scene and conducted a DUI investigation on Mendoza. He was determined to driving under the influence, and was arrested, according to police.

Michael Mendoza

As the officers continued investigating, they found several rifles in the vehicle. Also found were several parts for AR-15 rifles, body armor with metal plates and a rifle scope, police said. The metal plates are the kind used to stop firearm rounds.

Mendoza is a gang member and convicted felon, according to police.

Mendoza was arrested and booked on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of an assault weapon, violent felon in possession of body armor, possession of a firearm with prior violent offenses and driving under the influence of alcohol, police said.

Anyone with information about this case can contact the Hollister Police Department at (831) 636-4330. Those wishing to remain anonymous may call WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.

Michael Moore
Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.

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