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Los Banos police arrest three after gun found during traffic stop

A vehicle stop of a suspected drunken driver led to the discovery of a loaded gun Sunday, police said.

According to Los Banos police, Officer Danny O’Day conducted a vehicle stop on a gray Mitsubishi Eclipse at 10:12 p.m. after he observed the car running a stop sign.

O’Day spoke with the driver, Richard Paul Martinez, 19, of San Jose and observed that he had been drinking alcohol, police said. Martinez was given several field sobriety tests and his blood-alcohol content was determined to be 0.12, according to police. The legal limit to drive is 0.08.

The officer spoke with two of Martinez’s passengers, Victor Raymond Miranda, 35, of Merced and David Harvey Gerritson, 21, of Gilroy. Police said a search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of a loaded handgun.

All three men were arrested on suspicion of possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle. Martinez also was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Police said Gerritson had an outstanding warrant in connection with vandalism and that Miranda also is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Gerritson is in custody at the Los Banos Police Department jail, pending $10,000 bail. Miranda is being held at the Merced County Jail in lieu of $110,000 bond. Martinez has been released from custody and is scheduled to appear in Merced County Superior Court.

To phone in an anonymous crime tip, call (209) 827-7070, ext. 288. Leave an anonymous tip at the Police Department’s Web page at http://www.losbanos.org/index.php?option=com_chronoforms&view=form&Itemid=312. Contact the Merced Area Crime Stoppers at (855) 725-2420 or www.mercedareacrimestoppers.org.

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