Sonoma Deputies Find Stolen Handgun in Park, Arrest Five People

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    NBC Philadelphia
    Police responded to the Howard Johnson in Milford after a woman discharged mace fore bears, police said.

    Five people were arrested in Sonoma Friday evening after a group was found in a park with a stolen handgun, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said today.

    Deputies first contacted a group of four around 7 p.m. in Maxwell Farms Regional Park when they were called to there on a report of minors drinking alcohol, the sheriff's office said.

    The deputy recognized one person, 18-year-old Jarvis Angel Medel, as an alleged gang member who was present during a robbery and assault at El Verano Elementary School on March 29th.

    The deputy asked the subjects about a backpack that was on the ground near them, but they all denied it was theirs. When he opened it, the deputy found it contained a loaded semi-automatic handgun that had been reported stolen in a burglary the previous day in El Verano, according to the sheriff's office.

    A number of other items had also been stolen in the burglary, including jewelry, video game consoles, a laptop computer, electronics and two other handguns, as well as coin and trading card collections.

    Deputies searched the homes of three of the men and interviewed four of the suspects. They located a small amount of cocaine at one home, and arrested an additional adult, the brother of one of the subjects, but no other stolen property was found, the sheriff's office said.

    Police arrested and charged Medel and 20-year-old Sonoma resident Juan Angel Chavarria with possession of stolen property, carrying a loaded firearm in public, being a criminal gang member in possession of a loaded firearm and participation in a criminal street gang. Bail was set at $100,000.

    The adult arrested on a drug charge was Erick Gomez-Miranda, a 23-year-old Sonoma resident. He was placed on a no-bail immigration hold.

    Two 16-year-olds from Sonoma were arrested on suspicion of possessing stolen property, carrying a loaded firearm in public, being a criminal street gang member in possession of a loaded firearm and participating in a criminal street gang.

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