SOUTHEAST SPECIAL RESPONSE TEAM OFFICERS REMOVE ANOTHER HANDGUN FROM THE STREETS OF FRESNO DURING A TRAFFIC STOP

Fresno Police Department Press Release:

On Friday, April 20, 2018, at 12:40 A.M., Southeast Special Response Team (SE-SRT) Officer S. Chauhan conducted proactive patrol in the area of Cedar Ave and Tulare Avenue. Officer Chauhan observed a minor mechanical vehicle code violation on a 2005 black BMW driven by 39 year-old Fresno resident Omar Huerta. SRT Officer Chauhan learned Huerta was recently arrested for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm one month prior. Based on this information SRT Officer Chauhan asked for and received consent to search the black BMW. The front right passenger, later identified as 23 year-old Fresno resident Ebony Esparza, was also asked to step out of the vehicle. SRT Officer Chauhan searched the vehicle and located an open purse on the front seat. SRT Officer Chauhan observed in plain view a gun in the purse. Both Huerta and Esparza were detained and questioned separately. Huerta denied ownership and/or prior knowledge of the gun found inside his vehicle. Esparza denied having knowledge the gun was in her purse. The owner of the weapon was located and questioned about the whereabouts of his gun. The owner informed SRT Officer Chauhan the weapon should not have been with Esparza. Esparza was arrested and booked into the Fresno County Jail for PC 25400(C) (6) – Possession of a concealed loaded firearm. Please view attachments for a picture of the firearm and of suspect Ebony Esparza. This arrest and recovery marks the 28th firearm removed from the streets of Fresno by the Southeast Special Response Team (SE-SRT) since January 8, 2018.

To date Total Crime City Wide is down 18.3%. Southeast District has experienced a total crime reduction of 9.7%, with Homicide down 71.4%, Robbery is down 7.7%, and Auto Theft down 30%.

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