YAKIMA, Wash. — A Sunnyside gang member under investigation for drug trafficking was charged Wednesday with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
Manuel Mendez Silva, a documented LVL Sureño who turned 21 Thursday, has been in custody since his arrest after a traffic stop last week by a Yakima County sheriff’s deputy assigned to a drug task force.
According to an arrest affidavit, the deputy stopped a car Silva was riding in after a passenger, later identified as Silva, threw a glass meth pipe out the window.
Silva was arrested after the deputy searched the car and reported finding a large-caliber Taurus Judge revolver in the trunk. The serial number had been filed off.
Silva “admitted to partial ownership of the firearm,” the deputy reported. “Silva also admitted to holding the firearm. He also admitted that there were pictures of the firearm in his cellular telephone. Silva admitted to trying to sell the firearm for $300.”
Authorities described Silva as a member of LVL, short for Little Valley Lokotes, who has six felony convictions for drug possession, firearms, car theft and possession of stolen property. None are strike offenses under state law.
In addition to the gun charge, prosecutors filed a separate charge of drug possession stemming from a drug-trafficking investigation last month.
The pistol involved in the gun case, a Taurus Judge, can fire either .45-caliber Colt cartridges or .410-gauge shotgun shells. It was loaded with three .410 shells, police said.
Silva remains in custody at the Yakima County jail in lieu of $125,000 bail.