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Gang member arrested after deputy finds shotgun

An alleged gang member was arrested after a Merced Sheriff's deputy found a concealed shotgun in his car.

Jose Manuel Alvares, 23, of Atwater, was pulled over by Deputy Ruben Orozco just after 2 a.m. Sunday, after he nearly lost control of his car while making a turn onto Myrtle Avenue from Winton Way in Winton. During the traffic stop, Orozco saw the shotgun, partially hidden under the rear seats.

Alvares, a validated gang member, was on felony probation and not allowed to possess a firearm, according to the sheriff's department. The shotgun, a pump action 12-gauge, was loaded with birdshot and had the serial number partially removed.

Alvares was booked into Merced County Jail on charges of reckless driving, possession of a loaded shotgun and violating probation.