Tip leads to three arrests in Atwater

05/09/2013 6:16 PM

05/09/2013 6:25 PM

ATWATER -- Three people were arrested Wednesday after a search warrant turned up marijuana and firearms.

A tip about an illegal firearm prompted the search warrant, said Lt. Sam Joseph of the Atwater Police Department. When the department received a tip about a gang member with a TEC-9 automatic firearm, the investigating officer got a search warrant on the house in the 1300 block of Fifth Street.

Atwater police officers were joined by the Merced Multi-Agency Gang Task Force as they served the search warrant around 8 p.m., Joseph said. About 50 pounds of marijuana was found inside the house along with scales and packaging material. Two handguns were also found, but the TEC-9 wasn't located.

It's unknown whether the other handguns were stolen, Joseph said.

Henry Martinez, 28, Ashley Silveira, 24, and David Moya, 46, were arrested on suspicion of various narcotic-related violations, Joseph said. They were booked into 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.

Reporter Mike North can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or mnorth@mercedsunstar.com.

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