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San Benito
May 30, 2024

Local man found with loaded gun, ‘slungshot’ released after plea deal

The Hollister man accused of possessing a loaded handgun in a vehicle, along with a “slungshot” used to hurt people, had his charges reduced to misdemeanors in a plea deal and has been released from custody.

Ramiro B. Blanco, Jr., 27 at the time of his October arrest, was initially charged by the district attorney’s office on suspicion of carrying a loaded firearm in a public place and manufacturing a baton weapon, according to court records.

Both counts were felony allegations, but prosecutors agreed to reduce the charges to misdemeanors, leading to his release after a February court hearing, according to records. As part of the deal, Blanco was required to perform 270 hours of community service.

Representing Blanco was attorney Harry Damkar, who also recently negotiated a five-year prison sentence for Michael Simas, accused in the 2017 killing of Lisa Hall.

According to the HPD police report from the Oct. 9 arrest:

On Oct. 9 at about 9:40 p.m., Officer Evan Umstead was on patrol in the 1000 block of Airline Highway area when he stopped a vehicle for a vehicle code violation.

Officer Umstead contacted the driver of the vehicle, identified as Ramiro Blanco Jr, 27, of Hollister, and noticed a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from the car.

During the course of Officer Umstead’s investigation a handgun was discovered hidden in the vehicle.  The handgun was loaded with a high capacity magazine with another high capacity magazine located next to the firearm.  Officer Umstead also discovered Ramiro Blanco Jr. was in possession of a “Slungshot”. A “Slungshot” is a long cord with a weight on one end and designed to severely hurt someone when used as a weapon.  In California and many other states it is illegal to possess as it can be used as a deadly weapon.

Blanco was transported and booked into the San Benito County jail with recommended charges of carrying a loaded firearm, possessing a dangerous weapon, and two counts of possessing high-capacity magazines.