Busted: $35K Worth of Pot Found

Two arrested for possession during a follow-up investigation of
a gang-related shooting
Hollister – Anti-Crime Team investigators arrested two men for possession of about $35,000 worth of marijuana during a follow up investigation to a Oct. 28 gang-related shooting outside D Mart in Gilroy. Police continue to follow up on leads, but have not made any arrests in connection with the case.

Jose Farias Zambrano, 30, and Pedro Salas Blancas, 24, were arrested at 11pm Friday for felony possession of marijuana for sale at 6360 San Felipe Road while investigators were conducting probation searches on gang members and individuals on probation throughout San Benito County in relation to the Oct. 28 shooting.

The two teen males – 14-year-old and 16-year-old – were injured from a single shotgun blast following an altercation with two Hispanic males believed to be Norteño gang members. The 16-year-old took the brunt of the hit, sustaining more than 20 pellet wounds in the back and left arm. The 14-year-old sustained about six pellets wounds to the back.

Both have been released from San Jose area hospitals and are recovering.

ACT investigators collected 36 pounds of marijuana in six large trash bags and an electronic scale at the Hollister home. Soft body armor, firearms, and ammunition were also found at the scene, but not confiscated because they belonged to other individuals living in the house and not connected to the drugs seized.

“It’s a pretty significant amount,” said Sgt. Kurt Svardal of the Gilroy Police Department. “Think of it from the standpoint of these pound bags are pretty big – a little less than a gallon of milk in size – and there’s 36 of them.”

According to at least one neighbor, the house is known for suspicious activity.

“This is not the first time, (police) have been there three or four times,” neighbor Tino Cortez said. “I’m glad they did it, I feel a lot safer.”

Zambrano and Blancas are not considered gang members. They were arrested during a probation search at the home they were renting a room in when ACT investigators detected “an overpowering smell of marijuana,” Svardal said.

Blancas is unemployed and was found in possession of several thousand dollars in cash, which investigators seized.

The two men were booked into San Benito County Jail Friday night.

According to Svardal, ACT investigators are searching for the two male suspects in the Oct. 28 attempted murder shooting.

“We have some leads we’ve been trying to pursue,” he said. “When it comes to a shooting like this, we’re going to do whatever it takes to arrest these people.”

Anyone with information on the case may call 846-0350.

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