Gun tip starts search; police arrest 3 when pot found

Drugs and two handguns found in house

__lt__a href="mailto:mnorth@mercedsunstar.com"__gt__mnorth@mercedsunstar.com__lt__/a__gt__May 13, 2013 

— Three people were arrested this week after a tip about an illegal firearm resulted in the search of a home, yielding some marijuana and guns, police reported Thursday.

Police received a tip about a gang member with a TEC-9 automatic weapon, Atwater police Lt. Sam Joseph said. The investigating officer then got the search warrant for a house in the 1300 block of Fifth Street.

Atwater police were joined by the Merced Multi-Agency Gang Task Force as they served the search warrant about 8 p.m. Wednesday, Joseph said.

About 50 pounds of marijuana was found inside the house along with scales and packaging material. Two handguns were found, but the TEC-9 wasn't located.

Henry Martinez, 28, Ashley Silveira, 24, and David Moya, 46, were arrested on suspicion of various narcotics-related violations, Joseph said. They were booked at the Merced County Jail.

Joseph said the bust could've prevented a more serious crime in the area, which he classified as "a nice neighborhood."

"This could've been a house that could've been involved in a shooting or a home invasion," Joseph said.

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