HOLLISTER—Officers with the Hollister Police Department’s Gang Suppression Unit arrested three individuals on Friday night, in connection with a loaded stolen gun. Arrested were Marco Mendoza, 27, Omar Ortega Hernandez, 20 and a 17-year-old female juvenile, all of Hollister.
In response to the recent rise in gang activity, officers were performing routine checks when they came upon individuals standing around and seated inside a vehicle on the 1300 block of Westside Blvd.
When Officers approached the group they found a 17-year-old female juvenile in the front seat. They also found Mendoza in the back seat in possession of an open alcoholic container. It was later determined that Mendoza was also on probation. The owner of the vehicle, Ortega-Hernandez, was also in possession of an open alcoholic container while sitting in the front seat.
“The Officers were on patrol in well-known area for gang activity when they found the group of individuals,” Hollister Police Captain Dave Westrick said. “The owner consented to the search when we found the gun in his car.”
As a result of having the open containers in the vehicle, officers searched the car and found a loaded handgun that was concealed inside the car. The handgun had been reported stolen earlier this year. All three suspects were arrested and booked into the San Benito County Jail and Juvenile Hall.
Ortega-Hernandez was charged with being a gang member carrying a loaded firearm and possession of stolen property. Mendoza was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm as well as a gang member in possession of a loaded firearm. The Juvenile was charged with as a gang member in possession of a firearm and booked into the County’s Juvenile Detention Center.
“This was an effort of ’cause and effect,’ we beefed up patrols because of the rise in gang activity and were able to get a gun and gang members off the streets,” Captain Westrick added.
The formation of the Gang Suppression United is a result of the City of Hollister’s CALGRIP grant. This grant is a way for police to combat gang related activity in Hollister. It is also designed to educate the community and parents, whose children may be susceptible to gang influence.
Central Coast News- Hollister Police Arrest 3 in Connection to Stolen Handgun