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Police Arrest Felon with AK-47, Drugs in Car

Sergio Ivan Soto faces a variety of charges, according to Santa Barbara police

Sergio Ivan Soto
Sergio Ivan Soto

A local felon was arrested after a traffic stop when a search of his vehicle yielded drugs, a loaded semi-automatic AK-47 rifle, and other peoples’ Social Security paperwork, according to Santa Barbara police.

Sergio Ivan Soto, 30, has a felony criminal record, and has been convicted of being an associate of an Oxnard criminal street gang, said Sgt. Riley Harwood, a department spokesman.

Soto was pulled over May 2 after a police officer with the Criminal Impact Team — which looks at career criminals and crime trends — recognized him as someone with an outstanding felony arrest warrant for forgery, Harwood said.

The officer saw fraudulent registration tabs on Soto’s vehicle and pulled him over in the 2400 block of Fletcher Avenue, police said. Soto was arrested for the warrant, registration tabs and initially giving a false name to the officer.

Police found a semi-automatic AK-47 with a collapsible stock and a detachable 30-round magazine in the car’s trunk, said Harwood, who added that the magazine was loaded. The weapon is not registered.

Officers also found methamphetamine, a meth pipe, drug paraphernalia, and personal documents that belonged to other people, like Social Security paperwork, bills, bank statements and tax returns, police said.

Owners of the documents were later contacted and said that Soto didn’t have permission to have their checks or mail, Harwood said.

Soto was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on three misdemeanor charges, with bail set at $250,000.

He was charged with possession of an assault rifle, transportation of an assault rifle, convicted gang member/violent felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, three counts of possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, giving false information to a peace officer and fraudulent registration tabs, police said.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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