Three men were arrested in Atwater Sunday after a traffic stop turned up drugs and an unloaded rifle, police reported.
Officers stopped a gold Ford pickup around 6:40 p.m. after it made an unsafe pass on Olive Avenue, according to Lt. Sam Joseph.
The driver, Marcos Hernandez, 20, was driving on a suspended license and had a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest, Joseph said.
After searching the truck, officers found a converted soda can containing more than seven grams of marijuana and .05 grams of methamphetamine.
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Police also found an unloaded .22 caliber semi-auto rifle.
Joseph said Hernandez, who’s a known Sureno gang member, admitted the drugs belonged to him but denied owning the gun.
The two passengers — Oscar Arellano, 18, and Luis Gonzalez, 28 — were both arrested on suspicion of possession of the weapon and for participation in a criminal street gang.
Joseph said officers found evidence linking Arellano and Gonzalez to possession of the gun on their cell phones.
The three men were booked into the Merced County Jail.
-- Ramona Giwargis