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Three men arrested after car search in Santa Cruz on weapons, drug charges

 Posted on April 10, 2012 in Drug Crimes

Santa Cruz Police say that three men were arrested early Monday morning after some sort of encounter with law enforcement. Police claim to have spotted a car around 1:20 a.m. Monday near South Branciforte and Broadway, but an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel does not indicate why spotting the vehicle drew the attention of police.

Apparently, an officer claims that he smelled marijuana and saw a pipe and decided to search the vehicle.

Police claim the driver of the car gave the officer permission to rummage through the vehicle. In the end, law enforcement arrested three men for alleged weapons, drug offenses and a variety of other alleged offenses. Police also claim that they found items in the car that law enforcement is characterizing as burglary tools.

Police claim that a loaded .22 caliber gun was found in a search of a backpack inside the vehicle. Law enforcement claims that a passenger in the vehicle can be tied to the backpack, and the 24-year-old Santa Cruz resident was arrested on suspicion of unlawfully possessing a loaded gun. That passenger may also face drug possession charges, according to police. The passenger reportedly had an outstanding warrant for an unidentified offense.

In addition to the gun and alleged burglary tools, Santa Cruz police say that the discovered a knife, and small amounts of marijuana and methamphetamine during the vehicle search.

The driver was arrested on suspicion of drug possession and driving without a license. A second passenger in the vehicle, a 22-Santa Cruz man was taken into custody on suspicion of drug possession and public intoxication after the incident.

Few details about the encounter have been publicly reported-thankfully, alleged criminal offenses are tried in a court of law and not in the media. It is important to note that criminal defendants in the Santa Cruz area are presumed innocent unless the prosecutor can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, based upon lawfully obtained evidence.

Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, "Three arrested in Santa Cruz when loaded handgun, drugs are found in car," Stephen Baxter, April 9, 2012

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