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Drugs, weapon found in traffic stop

Drugs, weapon found in traffic stop

Gerardo Avila-Ramirez

POSTED January 22, 2010 11:42 p.m.
A traffic stop of a truck that almost hit a Merced County Sheriff’s patrol car resulted in the seizure of methamphetamine and a handgun and numerous charges for the driver.
At about 7 p.m. Wednesday Deputy Chris Sziraki was on patrol in the 6900 block of Hall Boulevard in Winton. While driving down the road, Sziraki’s patrol car was almost broadsided by a 2005 Dodge Ram pickup that was backing out of a parking spot into the roadway.
Sziraki swerved around the truck and at the same time noticed that one of the truck’s rear lights was out, sheriff spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie said.
The deputy pulled the truck over and found that the driver, Gerardo Avila-Ramirez, 46, of Winton had no driver’s license. After searching Avila-Ramirez, Sziraki found a plastic baggie containing approximately three grams of methamphetamine in his pants pocket.
A search of the truck turned up eight grams of methamphetamine , packaged in three separate bindles, and a loaded .22-caliber revolver.
A woman and a small child were also in the vehicle.
“The loaded handgun was found within easy reach of the child, and could have had a terrible outcome if not stopped by Deputy Sziraki,” MacKenzie said.
Avila-Ramirez was booked on several charges including possession of a controlled substance with a loaded firearm, possession of a concealed firearm, possession for sale of methamphetamine and child endangerment. He remains jailed in lieu of $215,000 bail.

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