Berkeley Police station. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Berkeley Police station. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Three men entered “no contest” pleas last week and accepted six-month jail sentences after police recovered three loaded handguns hidden in their vehicle during a car search in Berkeley earlier this month.

On Dec. 6, police stopped the men at about 6:30 p.m. as they were driving near Dwight Way and Acton Street, said Officer Jennifer Coats.

During the stop, police found probable cause to search the sedan, which was occupied by Ulisses Juarez and Orlando Ruiz — 19-year-olds from Concord — and Kelvin Parache, 24, from Bay Point.

Police located a handgun hidden near each of the vehicle occupants. One had been reported stolen out of Fresno.

All three men were arrested on suspicion of carrying a concealed firearm and carrying a loaded firearm.

During the search, police also found Ruiz in possession of a concealed knife. There was a large box of ammunition in the car, too.

Coats described the case as “unusual” due to the number of firearms in the vehicle. She said she did not have information about what particular purpose the men might have had for being in Berkeley that day.

“We don’t know what their specific intention was for being here,” said Coats. “But we got three guns off the streets in Berkeley, and three guns off the street where these guys live.”

On Dec. 15, the men entered “no contest” pleas for misdemeanor carrying a concealed firearm. They were sentenced to six months in jail followed by three years of probation.

They remain incarcerated at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...