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March 27, 2023

Eight suspected of gun, drug, child endangerment charges

Hollister police arrested eight suspects on gun, drug manufacturing and child endangerment charges, according to a statement released Wednesday.

According to the statement:

On May 26, Hollister police officers arrested eight suspects on gun, drug manufacturing, resisting arrest and child endangerment charges.

On the night of May 29, 2018, at about 11:04 p.m., Hollister Police Department officers responded to 29 Hawkins St. regarding a report of a suspect holding a handgun and making statements about being involved in a previous shooting.  Officers had previously been called to the same residence May 21 on a report of someone firing a handgun into the air.  When police had arrived on that occasion, there was no one visible, no signs of a crime and no witness willing to come forward.

Hollister police officers and San Benito County deputies approached the residence and observed several persons drinking and smoking marijuana in the open garage of the residence.  Officers identified themselves and several suspects ran from the garage and into the residence.  Officers observed one suspect was holding a firearm as they ran into the home.

Officers and deputies gave chase and followed the suspects into the residence.  Several suspects attempted to keep the officers from entering.  Officers were able to enter the home and confront several uncooperative suspects including two hiding in a closet.  Handguns were located in the home and a 3-year-old child was also found inside.

Officers and deputies detained the suspects and a search warrant was obtained.  The search revealed a butane honey oil laboratory, 2 handguns, methamphetamine, concentrated cannabis, prescription pills, and other items commonly used when selling drugs.  Hollister police called Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team (UNET) agents to respond to the scene to safely disable the THC extraction lab.

Juan Manual Vasquez Jr. (43) was arrested on charges of manufacturing a controlled substance, child endangerment, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sale, felon in possession of a firearm, possessing a large capacity magazine, possession of a controlled substance while armed and several local warrants. Juan Manual Vasquez III (19) was arrested on charges of willful cruelty to a child, and two warrants

Elizabeth Vasquez (44) and Elizabeth Vasquez (20) were arrested for willful cruelty to a child.  Christopher Houg (21) was charged with child endangerment and obstructing officers.  Michael Barrientos (19) was arrested on the charges of obstructing officers and child endangerment. Pedro Lira-Padilla (23) was arrested on the charges of obstructing an officer, willful cruelty to a child, possessing a large capacity magazine and carrying a loaded firearm.  Darius Parks (19) was arrested for obstructing an officer, child endangerment and possession of a firearm.

Using Butane to extract THC from the Marijuana plant is an extremely dangerous process.  The potential for explosions is high.  The Hollister Police Department would like to remind citizens that even though possession of a certain amount of marijuana may be legal, the extraction of THC in a residential environment is not.

The Hollister Police Department would like to thank UNET and the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office for their help regarding these arrests and the safe disposal of the Butane lab.  The Police Department would also like to thank the concerned witnesses that came forward to report this dangerous situation in our city.  Having the public’s help is essential to our mutual goal to make our community safer.

Anyone having information on this case is asked to call Officer Masso at 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.