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Brawley police seize loaded rifle, four arrested

March 21, 2002|By MARIO RENTERIA

Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — Police arrested four Brawley residents this morning after a loaded .22-caliber rifle was found in the car in which they were parked.

Brawley police Lt. John Myers said around 12:30 a.m. a resident reported to police that four suspicious individuals were inside a vehicle parked near the 800 block of North Imperial Avenue.

Myers said several car thefts have occurred in that area in the past.

He added when police arrived, two of the men sitting in the car jumped from the vehicle and fled.

The fleeing men, later identified as Juan Baltazar, 22, and Roberto Arquieta, 18, were apprehended shortly after.

Hiram Garcia, 18, and Daniel Villa, 24, who remained in the vehicle, were arrested without incident.

Upon searching the car, police found the rifle. All four men were arrested on suspicion of possessing a loaded firearm, Myers said.

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Later, 5 grams of methamphetamine allegedly were found on Arquieta. He was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, possession for sale because of the amount and attempting to smuggle methamphetamine into jail. Police didn't elaborate on the last charge.

Both Arquieta and Baltazar also were arrested on suspicion of fleeing a police officer.

Myers said Baltazar and Garcia are registered gang members. He added police think Arquieta and Villa also are gang members because of their association with Baltazar and Garcia.

All four remained in the county jail as of presstime. Bail information was not available.

>> Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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