Drug, Weapons Bust Could Lead to Federal Indictments of Two
Hollister – Two local men arrested for dealing methamphetamine and marijuana in the Hollister area, along with possessing illegal weapons, may be federally prosecuted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms due to the amount of narcotics seized and the type of firearms, according to police.
Officers with the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team and San Benito County Sheriff’s Department executed search warrants at the homes of Hollister resident Kenneth Perez, 39 and San Juan Bautista resident Ryon Alnas, 27, Wednesday afternoon and seized a cache of illegal narcotics, weapons and stolen property, said UNET Commander Mark Colla.
“Based on the firearms found and the type of firearms, like an SKS assault rifle, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has an interest in prosecuting it with the amount of illegal narcotics,” Colla said. “They’re attempting to take this case and prosecute it federally.”
Police believe both men were dealing drugs in the Hollister area. When officers searched Perez’s home in the 1500 block of Mimosa Street in Hollister, they found a half pound of methamphetamine, 5 grams of cocaine, a stolen pistol, several hunting rifles and a sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun, Colla said. They also found $4,300 in cash, but Perez denied any connection with the contraband officers found in his garage, Colla said.
“The most interesting thing is, in his denial he said being arrested for this, ‘Will this prevent me from being a Pop Warner or youth football coach?’ ” Colla said. “I said ‘That’s up to the judge.’ ”
Based on their investigation of the two men, police believe Alnas was working with Perez in the distribution of methamphetamine and marijuana. Alnas also had a considerable amount of drugs and weapons stashed at his home on Olympia Road in San Juan Bautista, Colla said.
“Perez typically used Alnas’ house to store meth at because he didn’t want to be caught holding a lot of dope at his home,” Colla said, and added that there were children at Perez’s home when police executed their warrant.
Police seized a half a pound of methamphetamine, half a pound of marijuana, packaging materials and scales, four loaded handguns and an SKS assault rifle from Alnas’ home, Colla said.
A report issued by ATF, which is a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, stated that the SKS rifle is the model most frequently encountered by law enforcement officers, and said that the “high capacity rifles pose an enhanced threat to law enforcement, in part because of their ability to expel projectiles at velocities that are capable of penetrating the type of soft body armor typically worn by the law enforcement officers.”
In 2004, at least six police officers were killed by SKS assault rifles, according to the Violence Policy Center, which also called the rifles the “leading cop-killing rifle in America today.”
Alnas, who also had a stolen Harley Davidson motorcycle and ATV at his home, told police he is a member of the Top Hatters Motorcycle Club, however he stressed the group was in no way involved with the illegal activities, Colla said.
“He wanted to make it clear the Top Hatters weren’t involved in the meth distribution,” he said. “That was his main concern.”
Colla was pleased with the arrests, and although Alnas was not booked into jail and Perez bailed out Wednesday, Colla said in cases such as these instead of booking the men on charges immediately attorneys with the ATF will draft a federal indictment, which takes some time.