A local man accused of firing shots inside a house on West Street has been arraigned and will appear in court for a preliminary setting in May, according to court records.
Jesse Cota of Hollister faces 11 charges after his arrest April 5. Some of those charges by the San Benito County District Attorney’s Office include possession of a controlled substance, carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a loaded firearm in a public place, person prohibited in possession of ammunition and possession of a stolen vehicle, according to court records.
Jesse Cota of Hollister is accused of firing shots from inside a home in the 900 block of West Street on April 5. He was arraigned April 10 and is scheduled to appear for a preliminary setting, where a judge will schedule a preliminary hearing, at 9 a.m. May 10 at the San Benito County Courthouse, according to records. A preliminary hearing is where a judge decides if there’s enough evidence for a trial.
According to the Hollister Police Department:
On April 6, 2018, Hollister Police Officers arrested a suspect for several felony charges.
On the night of April 5, 2018, Hollister Police Officers responded to the 900 block of West Street regarding a report of shots being fired into a house. When officers arrived they determined the single shot to the residence had originated from inside the home not from outside. The suspect responsible for the shooting fled the scene in a newer white Toyota Camry. The scene was processed and no weapons were recovered during the investigation.
On April 6, 2018, United Narcotics Enforcement Team (UNET) agents had received information regarding the location of the weapon used in the shooting. UNET agents and Hollister Police Officers returned to the location to continue the investigation. After a search was conducted a firearm was located hidden on the property.
While Police Officers and UNET agents were still on scene, a white Toyota Camry matching the suspect vehicle from the night prior drove by the residence. An agent from UNET and a Hollister Police Officer conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle in the 300 block of Swope alley.
The front passenger of the vehicle Jesse Cota (38) was identified as being present when the shooting occurred the previous night. As Officers spoke to Cota they located a loaded handgun near him. Cota was immediately taken into custody.
Further search of Jesse Cota and the vehicle revealed watches, jewelry and narcotics. The gun and several jewelry items were identified as being recently stolen from a home in Hollister.
Cota was booked into San Benito County Jail for child endangerment (there was a child in the car he was riding in), carrying a concealed weapon inside a vehicle, possession of a loaded firearm, person with a previous felony conviction in possession of a loaded firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, committing a felony while on bail for a felony charge, possession of stolen property, felon in possession of ammunition, possession of controlled substance, attempting to destroy/ conceal evidence, and possession of controlled substance while armed with a firearm.
On April 7, 2018, the same agent from UNET and Hollister Police Officer were conducting follow up on this case in the area of Bridge and Bridgevale. Officers located a previously stolen gray Honda Civic matching the description of a vehicle Cota had been previously driving. Officers later returned the vehicle to the registered owner.
Officers were able to obtain evidence connecting Cota to the stolen car and the firearm found on the home on West Street. Officers responded to the San Benito County Jail and added the charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a shortened barreled shotgun to Cota’s booking.
This is an ongoing investigation and the Hollister Police Department and UNET are continuing to follow up on all investigative leads regarding this incident.
Law Enforcement depends on its partnership with the community including people willing to come forward and report crimes. It is with their help that we can achieve our mutual goal to make Hollister a safer community.
The Hollister Police Department would like to thank those citizens who called police to advise us of this dangerous situation.
Anyone having information on this case is asked to call the Hollister Police Department at 636-4330. Persons wishing to remain anonymous can call the WeTip Hotline at 800-78-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.