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Friday, February 22 , 2019, 11:53 pm | Fair 43º


Traffic Stop Leads to 4 Arrests on Drug, Weapons Charges

Ronald Wallas Contreras

Four people, including a known gang member, are facing drug and weapons charges after being arrested during a traffic stop, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

The incident occurred at about 3:15 a.m. Saturday on the city's Westside, said Sgt. Riley Harwood.

"Officer Andrew Freytag was on patrol and observed a black Mitsubishi Lancer run a stop sign at the intersection of San Pascual Street and De La Guerra Street," Harwood said. "He initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and found it to be occupied by four subjects."

Ronald Wallas Contreras, the driver, was recognized as a Santa Barbara-area gang member who is on parole for robbery, Harwood said.

"An open can of beer was present in the vehicle, and Contreras displayed symptoms of intoxication," Harwood said.

Alvaro Pinedo

Investigation determined that Contreras had been drinking, but his blood-alcohol was below the level at which a driver is considered drunk under the law, Harwood said.

A subsequent search of Contreras' vehicle turned up 17.2 grams of methamphetamine, 3.3 grams of marijuana, a meth pipe, a folding knife, and a loaded handgun, Harwood said.

The handgun was found underneath the front passenger seat of the vehicle, and was accessible to all of the occupants, he said.

Also in the vehicle were Alvaro Pinedo, 27, of Santa Barbara, Jamie Stephanie Gonzalez, 23, of Lompoc, and Stephanie Herrera, 22, of Lompoc.

Jamie Stephanie Gonzalez

All four were arrested and booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail.

Contreras was arrested on suspicion of being a gang member in possession of a loaded firearm, possession of methamphetamine, transportation of methamphetamine, and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. His bail was set at $100,000.

Pinedo was booked on charges of being a felon in possession of a loaded firearm, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $35,000, and he was being held on a no-bail probation detainer.

Stephanie Herrera

Gonzalez was booked on suspicion of possession of a loaded firearm, and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, with bail set at $35,000.

Herrera was arrested for alleged possession of a loaded firearm, and possession of methamphetamine, with bail set at $35,000.       

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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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