Gustine police arrest two men on burglary, counterfeiting warrants

Two men wanted on arrest warrants for alleged counterfeiting and burglary were taken into custody by Gustine police Sunday, after officers stopped the suspects' car near Highway 33 and 1st Avenue.

Jameik Finley, 33, was wanted for a $100,000 burglary warrant in Oakland, while Devin Djuan Blount, 33, was wanted on a federal counterfieting warrant. A third man in the suspects' car was released without charges after being questioned, according to Gustine Police Chief Doug Dunford.

All three men are from Oakland.

The incident was reported around 4:20 p.m. Sunday after Officer Brett Nelson pulled over the suspects' car after it failed to halt at a posted stop sign. After the suspects pulled into the parking lot at Chevron gas station, Officer Nelson smelled the odor of marijuana after contacting the driver.

During the investigation Officer Nelson learned of Finley's outstanding warrant. Blount, who was sitting in the back seat, was unable to provide identification to the officer, according to police.

The officer asked Blount to step outside the car and the suspect provided a false name. Blount then fled on-foot, jumping fences into backyards of several different residences as the officer pursued him.

Additional officers from Gustine responded to help, in addition to two California Highway Patrol officers and a police dog from the Newman Police Department. Officers set up a perimeter around the area.

After searching the area for about 20 minutes, the Newman Police Department's dog "Earl" found Blount hiding in an attic, inside the backyard shed of a home in the 100 block of 5th Street.

Blount hesitantly came out of the attic, but resisted arrest when the officers tried to take him into custody. After a brief struggle, he was arrested by Gustine police.

Officers searched the suspects' car and found about 26 counterfeit credit cards inside a jacket pocket, which Blount had been sitting on inside the car. The credit cards were issued to Blount. Federal agents went to the Gustine Police Department and confirmed the credit cards were all fake.

Blount and Finley were booked into the Merced County Jail for their arrest warrants. Blount also faces burglary charges, in addition to allegedly providing an officer with a fake name, resisting arrest, being in possession of counterfeit access cards and possession of drug paraphernalia.

— Sun-Star staff