Confrontation Leads To Arrest For Stolen Firearm


[SOURCE: Coalinga Police Chief Darren Blevins Press Release 7:30 AM March 11, 2019]

Early Monday morning, March 11, around 1:30 am, officers from the Coalinga Police Department responded to Fastrip gas station located on Elm Avenue after receiving the report of a disturbance. Officers were informed by the caller that there were several Norteño criminal street gang members outside the store provoking a fight with a possible rival Bulldog criminal street gang member.

As officers were reporting to the area, they were given a description of the fleeing vehicle. Officers spotted the vehicle described as a white Chrysler 300, in the area of Cambridge and Hannah Street and performed a traffic enforcement stop.

This is the area where the vehicle was located with three men inside. This is just across Phelps from CRMC, east of SR 198 and the bridge leading to Posa Chanet.


Coalinga police officers found 18-year-old Coalinga resident, Rafael Vargas, 18-Year-old Coalinga resident, Alvaro Araujo and 22-year-old Lemoore resident Alexis Barrio inside the vehicle. All three occupants were confrontational and uncooperative with officers.

Officers detained all three men and searched the vehicle. They discovered a loaded black .380 semi-automatic handgun which was determined to be stolen out of Coalinga last year.

All three men were arrested and later transported to the Fresno County Jail on charges of carrying a loaded firearm, possession of stolen firearm, carrying a loaded firearm inside a vehicle, carrying a loaded firearm while participating in a criminal street gang, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, driving without a license and a misdemeanor bench warrant.