On May 2 at approximately 2:30 a.m., a Santa Monica policeofficer was patrolling the area around the 1600 block of Michigan Avenue when he noticed a black pickup truck driving around with a vehicle code violation.

Upon contacting the driver, the officer noticed that the front passenger, later identified as Bryan Almaraz, 24, of Los Angeles, appeared to be nervous. When the officer asked if there were any illegal items in the vehicle, all occupants said no, and the officer proceeded to ask if a search of the vehicle could be done.

All occupants of the vehicle exited the vehicle and were questioned, and as the officer walked away to conduct the search, Almaraz told the officer that there was a firearm inside the glove box.

With recent reports of gang activity in this area, the officer asked Almaraz why he was in possession of a firearm, and he stated that he had recently been to the shooting range and forgot it in the glove box. Almaraz was placed under arrest for possession of an unloaded firearm inside a vehicle by an active gang member. Bail was set at $35,000.

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