Traffic stop leads to gang arrests

Police say a gang member and gang affiliate were caught with drugs and stolen items Monday.

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WALLA WALLA -- A traffic stop downtown Monday night led to the arrests of a gang member and known gang affiliate.

A city patrol officer stopped a 1987 Nissan pickup at First Avenue and Alder Street for an equipment violation at about 7:25 p.m., police said. While talking to the men inside the vehicle, the officer observed a set of "brass knuckles" and a glass device commonly used for smoking methamphetamine, according to Tim Bennett, public information officer for the Walla Walla Police Department.

Detectives following up on the traffic stop were granted a search warrant, and found an illegal firearm in the truck. Stolen property from two recent burglaries was also recovered.

Jewelry, collector coins, silverware and other items stolen during the burglaries were found. One burglary from the 300 block of Catherine Street was reported Sunday, while other property was recovered from a burglary reported in early December in the 3000 block of Canberra Drive. In both burglaries, vehicles were also stolen and later recovered.

The driver of the vehicle, Trevor Kelly, 23, 84669 Winesap Road in Milton-Freewater, was arrested for investigation of possession of meth, a dangerous weapon and stolen property, and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

The Nissan's passenger, Salvador D. Saucedo, 21, listed as a transient from the Milton-Freewater area, was arrested for investigation of possession of meth and a dangerous weapon.

A small amount of meth was recovered by police, Bennett said.

Saucedo is a known gang member and Kelly is known to affiliate with the same local gang. Both suspects have previous a history of arrests, according to police and the incident is tied to an ongoing investigation involving criminal activities of numerous local gang members.

Sheila Hagar can be reached at sheilahagar@wwub.com or 526-8322. Check out her blog at blogs.ublabs.org/fromthestorageroom.

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