Fresno police patrolling southeast Fresno this week seized a “ghost gun” from a suspected gang member during a traffic stop.
A “ghost gun” is a replica firearm that is manufactured by a private party, often in a garage or a home, without serial numbers, making identification by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms difficult or impossible. Several websites advertise the sale of kits to manufacture the guns, often requiring only a drill press and several other commonly available tools.
Federal law does not outlaw the manufacture of the weapons, which are often visually indistinguishable from the gun they are modeled on, commonly a Glock or a 1911 Colt Government-style pistol. However, since 2016, the California Department of Justice has required that anyone who plans to manufacture such a firearm first apply for a unique serial number.
According to Fresno police Sgt. Adrian Alvarez Sr., the weapon confiscated Sunday night, a Glock-style 9 mm, was found when officers pulled over a car with Gerardo Varela, 23, a reputed Asian Boyz gang member, sitting in the back seat. Officer Sukhbir Chauhan spotted the weapon between Varela’s feet. Varela was booked on weapons charges.
Several other guns were seized by officers during the week, including a .22 caliber High Standard pistol recovered from Javier Trevino, 21, Tuesday at a motel in the 2600 block of South Second Street. Trevino was booked on the same charges.
Isaiah Delgodo, 27, was booked on weapons charges Tuesday after police said he was carrying an FN .40 caliber pistol when he was stopped at Maple and Tulare avenues for a vehicle code violation. Delgado told officers Kaosoy Saechao and Chadwick Chang that he bought the weapon from a friend for $500.
Saechao also recovered a Smith & Wesson 9 mm when he made a traffic stop Sunday night at McKenzie Avenue and Sixth Street, and pulled over Jermaine Pinson, 41. Pinson is prohibited from owning weapons because of past felony convictions, Alvarez said.