A 29-year-old Ceres resident and active member of the Norteno street gang was booked on charges of being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and possession of an undetectable firearm after his gun shot at an unoccupied home in the 3600 block of Havenwood Way Saturday evening.
A resident of the home called police on Sunday afternoon to report finding a bullet hole through a window and wall and that the shot was fired while the family was away for a Fourth of July celebration. Officer Christian Izquierdo noted that bullet path was at child’s height and ran right through a children’s play room.
The victim told police that his neighbor, Felipe Botello, admitted to discharging the firearm after he saw an intruder on his property. The victim called police on Sunday fearful something like this could happen again and worried for his family’s safety.
Officer Izquierdo spoke to a cooperative Botello who said he accidentally discharged his weapon when removing the magazine after confronting an unknown man outside the house who didn’t speak English and initially would not leave. Botello said his assault rifle was a “ghost gun,” a street term for an unregistered gun with no serial numbers which are becoming a more common way for convicted felons to obtain weapons. Officer Izquierdo also found a loaded high-capacity magazine. When it was learned Botello had a prior felony conviction preventing him from possessing firearms or ammunition, Botello was arrested.
Botello stated he had the firearm for protection since he is an active Norteno gang member who has been shot several times.
Botello led police to more ammunition he had hidden in the children’s room, under some clothing.
He was booked into the Stanislaus Public Safety Center.