Traffic Stop leads to Arrest

Suspect had gun in his pocket

WATSONVILLE—Members of the Santa Cruz County Gang Task Force arrested 22-year-old Watsonville resident James Audric Cruz after he was found in possession of a loaded firearm.

James Audric Cruz

Last Friday night at 6:50 p.m., two members of the Santa Cruz County Gang Task Force were working in the Watsonville area when they spotted a Honda Civic driving recklessly down South Green Valley Road.

Upon contact with the driver, they learned that they had just pulled over a known gang member named James Cruz.  Cruz was apparently acting suspiciously because he had a concealed firearm in his pocket. Pursuant to this discovery, officers decided to search him.

“Our Task force was on patrol when they spotted a Honda Accord driving recklessly,” Sergeant Stefan Fish said. “Once they stopped the vehicle they searched the driver and found the gun. They then searched the vehicle and found the large knife.”

An investigation revealed that Cruz was an active participant in a criminal street gang.  Cruz was immediately arrested and his vehicle was searched.

Items found in Cruz's Possession

Cruz was booked into the Santa Cruz County jail on charges of carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle, carrying a concealed weapon on person, carrying a concealed weapon while in a street gang, and participating and promoting a criminal street gang.

His bail has been set at $50,000.  This was the 11th firearm taken off the streets in Watsonville this year by the Santa Cruz County Task Force. With little less than half of 2013 passed, the 11th gun is on par with the 25 seized last year.

The Santa Cruz Gang Task Force is actively investigating this incident and is asking anyone with information to call the Santa Cruz Gang Task Force at 831-768-6522.

Read More:

Watsonville Patch: Pistol in Pocket Leads to Arrest

Santa Cruz Sentinel: Suspected Watsonville Gang Member Found with Loaded Gun

Traffic Stop leads to Arrest was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Santa Cruz
Tags: gang, guns

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Daniel Miranda

Dan Miranda is a Journalist, Photographer and Sports Writer for the San Jose, Santa Cruz, and Monterey area. He can be reached at