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K9 search leads to hidden gun

POSTED November 6, 2009 6:25 p.m.
A Planada man was arrested in Winton Monday night after a K9 led Merced County Sheriff deputies to a hidden firearm in his car.
Jose Saldana, 25, was stopped by Deputy Dylan Buessing in the area of Winton Way and Crawford Street shortly before midnight Monday for playing his music too loudly from his car, said sheriff spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie.
While the deputy spoke with Saldana, Sgt. Rich Howard arrived with his K9 partner “Castor.” After a cursory perimeter search of the vehicle, Castor alerted on the car indicating illegal contraband was inside, MacKenzie said.
When Buessing went to detain Saldana, he pulled away and refused to be handcuffed, MacKenzie said. Saldana then began running down Winton Way and was taken to the ground after a half block foot pursuit.
“While on the ground Saldana kept fighting so Deputy Buessing used the Drive Stun mode on his Taser to gain compliance,” MacKenzie said.
After being Tasered in the back, Saldana complied with commands and was taken into custody.
A search of his vehicle revealed a loaded .22 caliber semi automatic pistol in a side compartment of the center consul by the driver’s side leg. Saldana is a validated gang member, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.
Saldana was booked into the Merced County Jail on possession of a concealed weapon, resisting arrest, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, and participating in a criminal street gang.

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