A 41-year-old man landed behind bars early Thursday after police came to his Atwater home to investigate a domestic violence report but found nearly a pound of heroin instead, the Atwater Police Department reported.
Pablo Santana-Arellano was booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance for sales. He remained in custody on $100,000 bail, according to booking records.
Police were called around 3:30 a.m. Thursday to a home in the 100 block of Garden Avenue to break up a altercation. Police were told the man who lives in the home, later identified by officers as Santana-Arellano, typically carries a handgun in his waistband, Chief Samuel Joseph said.
Officers found Santana-Arellano in a bedroom and he was detained without incident. Officers asked the other residents about the firearm and were led to a car parked outside. Sgt. John Smothers “could smell a strong vinegar smell” when he opened the trunk during the search, Joseph said.
Investigators found “a large black bag that contained two large black tar-like substances,” which they determined was heroin, according to police.
Joseph said the suspected heroin weighed about 384.5 grams, which is almost a pound.
Rob Parsons: 209-385-2482