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Police arrest three on separate drug charges

Three people were arrested Tuesday on drug charges following separate incidents, according to Sgt. Bob Chapman of the Merced Police Department.

Ralph Rios, 44, of Merced was booked into Merced County Jail on charges of burglary, grand theft, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and a felony warrant. He remains jailed on a parole hold, according to a correctional official.

Chapman said Officer Brian Rinder took a shoplifting-burglary report of six MP3 players at the Radio Shack at 7:17 p.m. Merced Mall security officers saw a person later identified as Rios leave the store after setting off the alarm with the stolen merchandise.

Rios got into a black 1996 Honda Civic and drove away but not before mall security obtained his license plate number. Rinder went to the 1600 block of Marthella Avenue where he found drug paraphernalia and .04 grams of heroin on Rios.

An employee from Radio Shack was taken to Marthella and Rios was positively identified as the suspect in their burglary. Rios never admitted to the burglary nor were any of the MP3s recovered, Chapman said.

In an unrelated incident, David Patino, 32, was arrested at 8:45 p.m. Tuesday on charges of possession of a controlled substance. He remained in Merced County Jail Wednesday night in lieu of $10,000 bail, according to a correctional official.

Chapman said Officer Gerald Bohanan contacted Patino in the 1500 block of Stretch Road. Bohanan found a plastic bag containing .3 grams of crystal methamphetamine in Patino's right front pants coin pocket.

In the third incident, Modies Davis, 34, of Merced was booked into Merced County Jail for being in possession of cocaine base. He remained jailed Wednesday night in lieu of $12,054 bail, according to a correctional official.

Davis was arrested by Rinder at 10:21 p.m. in the 3200 block of Denver Avenue after he was stopped for riding a bicycle at dark without a headlight.

As Davis put his hands behind his back during a search, Rinder noticed that Davis was cupping something between his thumb and left hand. When Rinder asked Davis to move his thumb a small piece of cocaine base (crack cocaine) fell to the pavement, Chapman said.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at 209-385-2485 or dyawger@mercedsun-star.com.

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