Following a pursuit Thursday, Merced police officers arrested three people; two on suspicion of transporting drugs.
Officer Andrew Marshall of the Merced Police Department was driving north on Highway 59 about 7 p.m. when he saw a Pontiac turn north onto the road and quickly accelerate, according to a news release.
Marshall estimated that the car was traveling at about 80 mph, and the car wouldn't pull over, police said.
Detectives Paul Johnson and Brian Rodriguez joined the pursuit, which went through Snelling and ended on Merced Falls Road after the vehicle ran out of gas.
While searching the vehicle, officers reported finding 8.5 pounds of marijuana in the trunk, and parts to another vehicle that might be stolen, police said.
The driver, 29-year-old Miguel Cornado Guizar, was arrested on suspicion of transportation of marijuana for sale, evading arrest and on a parole warrant for failing to check in.
The front seat passenger, 32-year-old Elsa Patricia Noriega, was arrested on several warrants for failing to appear, police said.
The rear-seat passenger, 28-year-old Edward Adrian Flores, was arrested on several failure-to-appear warrants and suspicion of transporting marijuana.
During a follow-up investigation, detectives found an unoccupied, stolen vehicle in the 1700 block of Belcher Avenue.
Further investigation will be done to find out if the suspects arrested Thursday are connected to the stolen car, which was returned to its registered owner, police said. The parts found in the suspects' car didn't come from the recovered vehicle.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call officer Paul Johnson at (209) 385-7742 or the Merced Police Department's tip line at (209) 385-4725.