Photo: Ernie C. Vegas
BERKELEY — Police detectives arrested a career criminal and seized a cache of weapons during a raid earlier this month.
Detectives confiscated five assault weapons and handguns, and nearly 400 rounds of ammunition from inside his residence.
This evidence seized includes dozens of rounds of armor piercing bullets. Such ammunition is illegal to possess in California, and a deadly menace to law enforcement.
The suspect arrested is 39-year-old Ernie C. Vegas. In and out of jail since 1999, Vegas is presently in custody in lieu of $535,000 bond. His latest arrest happened at his home in Emeryville on the 4300 block of Essex Street.
Evidently, Vegas was able to acquire his deadly collection from off the streets. He is prohibited from possessing weapons because of his past criminal convictions. Vegas claims he only purchased the illicit weapons for his personal protection.
His latest predicament began when Berkeley detectives served him a search warrant on Valentine’s Day. He was booked at Santa Rita Jail the same day at 2:39 p.m.
Vegas has frequent contact with the law. He was convicted for possession of cocaine base for sale in 2014, and he was convicted for robbery in 2002.
His first arrest in 1999 was for possession of a controlled substance for sale. Vegas was also arrested in 2002, 2007 and 2016 on firearms and drug dealing charges.
Next up, Vegas is due to appear March 4 for a pretrial hearing at the Alameda County Courthouse. This time Vegas faces nine separate weapons related charges.