Fresno police say a gang member who admitted “he has no problem shooting a cop” was arrested Saturday morning carrying a concealed, loaded handgun.
Sgt. Robert Gonzales said the arrest in southeast Fresno resulted from a proactive patrol in response to the uptick in violent crime in the city. Officers Keosoy Saechao and Chadwick Chang spotted a car with an equipment violation and made a traffic stop near Cedar and Hedges avenues. The driver consented to a search of the car, Gonzales said, and the officers found a loaded 9mm Glock 19 handgun inside a backpack.
The officers quizzed the passenger, 18-year-old Ricky Rodriguez, described by police as an associate of the Ruthless Thug Life gang that is part of the East Side Fresno Bulldog gang. Gonzales said Rodriguez had been carrying the gun in his waistband until the car was stopped. Rodriguez told the officers he carried the handgun for self-protection. After making the statement about “shooting a cop,” he said he recognized the officers as being respectful to his friends when they were contacted by police.
Rodriguez was booked on various weapons charges into Fresno County Jail, where he remained Saturday evening.
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While the Rodriguez arrest didn’t result from a tip, Gonzales added that Crime Stoppers has enhanced rewards for information related to gang members who are involved in narcotic sales ($1,000), firearm possession ($2,000 for a handgun, $3,000 for an assault rifle) and human trafficking ($3,000). Tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 559-498-7869 (STOP) and remain anonymous.