Alvaro Mejia, who’s on federal probation for drug sales, was taken into custody just after midnight on Brand Boulevard and Cerritos Avenue after briefly failing to stop for an officer, according to police.
Police believe there was a “strong likelihood” that Mejia was selling drugs in the city, but they must examine his ledgers to make their final determination, according to Sgt. Tom Lorenz.
Mejia later told police he was an active member of a South Central-based gang and had just left his Glendale home when he was stopped.
During the stop, Mejia allegedly disobeyed the officer’s commands and reached toward the passenger seat numerous times, prompting the officer to draw his weapon.
He claimed the car belonged to his wife and refused to give consent to search it. But officers searched the car anyway because Mejia is on federal probation, which allows search and seizure.
Mejia was sentenced to serve 84 months in federal prison in 2006 after pleading guilty to possessing about 51 grams of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, according to U.S. District Court documents.
In that case, Los Angeles police arrested Mejia after they allegedly discovered a loaded handgun, methamphetamine and cocaine.
Once released from custody, Mejia was required to serve five years of supervised release, participate in an outpatient substance abuse treatment and counseling program and perform community service, according to court documents.
He was also barred from associating with the members of his street gang.
Mejia remained in custody Friday on various firearms charges in lieu of $35,000 bail.