Berkeley Police cruisers. Photo: Emilie Raguso

A 38-year-old Yuba City man has been charged with gun and drug violations after police found him at a Berkeley construction site behaving “erratically,” authorities report.

The Berkeley Police Department was called to the 200 block of Tunnel Road at about 5 a.m. Sunday by a security company reporting “a suspicious person and vehicle were possibly trespassing” at the site.

“When officers arrived on scene they found the suspect inside of the construction site standing atop of a portable office,” police said in a prepared statement this week. Police said the man’s behavior was erratic and that he admitted he recently had used cocaine. He told police he had more of the drug on him, authorities said.

A search of the man turned up “a bindle of powdery white substance which tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine,” police said. Officers also searched the man’s truck and found a loaded, concealed firearm, according to BPD. It was found to have been reported stolen out of Louisiana in 2014.

Police identified the man as Luis Rojas. A records check found him to have been previously convicted of a felony, in 2002. He was not allowed to own or use guns as a result.

“The Berkeley Police Department takes great pride in our ongoing efforts to take illegally possessed firearms off the streets and help make our community a safer place,” BPD said in the statement.

Rojas was taken to Berkeley Jail on suspicion of carrying a loaded gun in public, possession of controlled substances while armed with a handgun, possession of stolen property and possession of a controlled substance.

According to online records from the Alameda County sheriff’s office, Rojas has been charged with three felonies related to the gun and drugs, and remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $50,000.

Rojas, a field worker, entered not guilty pleas Wednesday, according to court records online.

He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing July 12 at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland.

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...