Two recent routine police actions on Petaluma streets led to the arrest of three people on various charges related to firearm violations.
On Monday evening at 8:11 p.m., a stopped a vehicle in the 800 block of Perry Lane driven by Michael Puckett, 44, a Petaluma resident, because his Dodge Ram pick-up had an array of illegal lighting on the cab.
While the officer spoke to Puckett, the passenger, Lyle Cooper, 44, also of Petaluma, attempted to conceal something beneath the passenger seat. Both subjects were removed from the vehicle. Officers located a loaded handgun partially under the passenger seat where Cooper had been seated.
Puckett is currently on probation for narcotics and firearm possession. Cooper is a convicted felon recently released from prison after serving time for weapons and narcotic violations.
Both men were arrested, Puckett for violating terms of probation and failing to register as a drug offender when he was released from jail; Cooper for being a felon in possession of a loaded firearm and violation of parole. Officers later searched the home of Cooper and located another loaded handgun.
Puckett was booked at Sonoma County Jail for the listed charges and currently being held on $26,000.00 bail. Cooper was booked at Sonoma County Jail for the listed charges and currently being held with No Bail, due to his parole violation.
The next evening, July 19 shortly after 11 p.m., a Petaluma Canine Officer stopped Eduardo Barcenas of Petaluma, 21, for an expired registration in the 400 block of South McDowell Blvd. The officer found that Barcenas had multiple outstanding warrants for his arrest and placed him under arrest.
During the arrest, officers located several items of gang paraphernalia inside Barcenas’ vehicle, a 12 gauge shotgun with approximately 20 rounds of shotgun ammunition, a “billy club,” and marijuana possessed for the purpose of sales.
Barcenas stated he carried the weapons in fear of being harmed by other people. He was arrested on several charges, including possession of a firearm while committing a felony, possession of a dangerous weapon, and outstanding warrants
He was booked at Sonoma County Jail and is currently being held on $10,000 bail.
"We usually find these guns by chance," said Petaluma Police Lt. Tim Lyons. "It's just good police work, you make a routine stop and you find an illegal firearm."
Lyons checked the police records on firearms, and reported, "There doesn't seem to be any spike in the numbers, there have only been seven since the first of the year."