A .45 caliber pistol stolen from a Fresno County Sheriff’s SUV Tuesday morning in a smash-and-grab robbery was taken off the streets later that day by police after a traffic stop in central Fresno.
Sgt. Rich Escalante said members of the MAGEC anti-gang unit pulled over a car near East Gettysburg Avenue and North Fresno Street about 4:15 p.m. driven by Gabriel Esparza, 37, who was sought on a felony warrant. Also in the car was Joe Hernandez, 32, who was in possession of methamphetamine. Escalante said both men are gang members. Officers recovered the Smith & Wesson semi-automatic weapon which was taken about 6 a.m. when the window on the deputy’s car was smashed outside a yoga studio at North Fresno Street and East Shaw Avenue. Another handgun was also found in the car.
Esparza was booked on charges that included possession of methamphetamine for sale, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of stolen property. Hernandez was booked on charges of possession of methamphetamine.