A routine vehicle stop by Merced County Sheriff's deputies resulted in the arrest of a Winton man on Wednesday night.
Deputy Chris Sziraki was on patrol in the 6900 block of Hall Boulevard in Winton, when a 2005 Dodge Ram truck began backing out of a parking spot into the roadway, almost hitting him. Sziraki was forced to swerve to avoid a crash, and he noticed that one of the truck's backup lights was not working.
After pulling over the driver, Gerardo Avila-Ramirez, 46, of Winton, Sziraki found that he didn't have a driver's license. A search revealed a plastic bag with three grams of methamphetamine in Avila-Ramirez's pants pocket.
More meth and a loaded .22 caliber revolver was found in clothing inside the rear of the cab, within reach of a child sitting in the truck, the sheriff's department said. A female passenger told Sziraki that Avila-Ramirez thought he was going to be pulled over, so he shoved the items into the rear of the cab. A total of eight grams of meth was found in the truck.
Avila-Ramirez was booked on charges of possession of a controlled substance with a loaded firearm, possession of a concealed firearm, possession of methamphetamine for sale and child endangerment. He remains in jail on $215,000 bail.