Teenage gang member arrested with stolen handgun, Merced County deputies say

A 17-year-old with a stolen gun and gang ties was recently arrested in Winton, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.

The Merced County Sheriff’s Office STAR Team stopped a suspicious vehicle near Myrtle Avenue and Tokay Circle on Friday and saw the 17-year-old passenger reach under his seat, deputies said.

The teen admitted to being in possession of the loaded Smith & Wesson M&P Shield .40 caliber handgun found under the seat, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The gun turned out to have been reported stolen in Atwater.

The 17-year-old and two others in the car were gang members, deputies said.

The teen was arrested on suspicion of weapons charges and a gang enhancement, and booked at Juvenile Hall, deputies said. His name was not released because he’s a minor.