Suspects Arrested for Theft of Catalytic Converter, Found in Possession of Illegal Weapons

Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff’s deputies arrested two suspects who were found in possession of a stolen catalytic converter and illegal firearms. On Thursday, October 21, 2021, at approximately 9:20 p.m., deputies responded to the 3500-block of Madera Street in Santa Ynez for a report of a possible theft of a catalytic converter from an RV.  Deputies were advised that the suspect’s vehicle was a small dark colored Honda sedan that had just left the area.

A deputy in the area located the Honda one minute later near Edison and Highway 154.  A traffic stop was conducted, and two occupants were contacted inside of the vehicle.  The driver was identified as 29-year-old Edgar Puga of Santa Maria, and the passenger was identified as 34-year-old Alejandro Maldonado of Santa Maria. Under Maldonado’s feet was the stolen catalytic converter with an electric hand saw.  During a search of the vehicle, deputies discovered an unregistered short-barreled assault rifle with a 30-round magazine, an unregistered polymer 9mm handgun, and a Smith and Wesson .38 Special.  Burglary tools were also located in the vehicle, and Puga was found in possession methamphetamine.

Both suspects were arrested and booked at the Main Jail. Puga was booked for driving without a license (misdemeanor), possession of a controlled substance (misdemeanor), carrying a concealed firearm (misdemeanor), conspiracy (felony), grand theft (felony), possession of a short-barreled rifle (felony), possession of a burglary tools (felony), and possession of an assault rifle (felony). Puga also had five misdemeanor warrants for his arrest.  Puga is being held with an enhanced bail of $250,000.

Maldonado was booked for conspiracy (felony), grand theft (felony), possession of burglary tools (felony) and impersonating another person (felony). Maldonado is on active parole and is being held without bail for a violation of his parole.


Written by sbsheriff

Press releases written by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

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  1. Correction: just another pair of criminals who don’t care about our current firearm laws (they broke several firearms just having them in their possession) and won’t care about future firearm laws. How does that have anything to do with the 2nd amendment?

  2. 3:50 – because, without the 2nd Amendment, these guns likely wouldn’t have been on the street for them to obtain. How many illegal gun arrests are made in Australia? England? Pick any other civilized country? Without the 2nd Amendment being misread for decades, there would not be so many guns flooding our market to be easily accessed by criminals. This has EVERYTHING to do with the 2nd Amendment.

  3. Mega hero to the progressive left, Alec Baldwin, shoots two people point blank, killing one. Did that incident have something to do with The 2nd, or was is sheer stupidity and negligence on The part of Mr. Baldwin? What an idiot!

  4. Ah yes, only a matter of time before someone blames Baldwin for unintentionally firing a projectile. But if you ask, think about it….. had we not the 2nd Amendment, would we have had the proliferation of guns in the Old West? Maybe, maybe not, but worth considering. And no, Alec Baldwin’s tragic situation (remember a young, innocent woman was killed before you join Trump Jr. and that monster Marjorie in joking about her tragic death) has nothing to do with the 2A, but I never said it did. My comment was in response to 3:50’s claim that criminals with guns has nothing to do with the 2A, not that EVERY act of gun violence, intentional or not, has to do with it.

  5. Ugh—do you even know what happened on that set? A chain of people responsible for safety were negligent and now a lovely person, mother, wife, cinematographer is dead and Another human being has to live with that in his head for the rest of his life. You know Trump’s sociopathic son is making money selling t-shirts joking about this woman’s death? Disgusting.

  6. The reference to the “Wild West” and the 2d Amendment provokes me to note, once again, that the lore of the West includes the trope that the local sheriff would prohibit people from carrying guns in the town. Whether true or not, the acceptance of this idea in the John Wayne world until now shows us how bizarre current objections to reasonable gun control regulations are. We currently have a case before the US Supreme Court arguing that ANYONE should be able to carry (concealed or not) ANY FIREARM in any public place at any time. And this Supreme Court may well buy this distortion of what the 2d Amendment was about. Sadly.

  7. Cigarettes don’t kill people, tobacco companies kill people. Oh, wait, maybe both do. Fires don’t kill people, arsonists kill people. Oh wait. Hurricanes don’t kill people, God kills people. Oh wait. Maybe the “guns don’t kill people” is one of the dumbest and most dishonest arguments ever hatched. Shooters kill people, guns kill people, bullets kill people, having arteries ripped open kills people … these are not mutually exclusive. The fact is that the glut of guns makes it easy and common for people to kill people with guns.

  8. “I heard that Mr. Baldwin pointed the gun directly at the two victims. Apparently, this was not the case.” — So what if he had? It was a prop, and the prop master is responsible for its condition. Actors point prop guns at other actors all the time. “I was misinformed” — this appears to be the case for *every* subject.

  9. Baldwin absolutely bears some responsibility. He shouldn’t be handling a firearm if he doesn’t know how to use it safely. ALWAYS check to see if it’s loaded, make sure the safety is on, and never point it at something you don’t intend to shoot. Two other accidental discharges on set? WTF?

  10. What do you say about a civilization that fights its own over the right to kill their own.
    This country was founded by the lees and castoffs of another civilization.
    We were considered barbarians.
    Over time, we learned to compromise and cooperate in order to rise to prominence as a symbol of hope and acceptance.
    Now we fight to become barbarians again.
    I fear that this great experiment has an expiration date.

  11. “Mega hero to the progressive left.” — RWers just make stuff up as they go. You have no idea who “the progressive left” is or what their take on Alec Baldwin or much else is. Some people like him because of his SNL Trump impersonation … that’s about it. “Progressivism is a political philosophy in support of social reform.[1] Based on the idea of progress in which advancements in science, technology, economic development and social organization are vital to the improvement of the human condition, progressivism became highly significant during the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, out of the belief that Europe was demonstrating that societies could progress in civility from uncivilized conditions to civilization through strengthening the basis of empirical knowledge as the foundation of society.[2] Figures of the Enlightenment believed that progress had universal application to all societies and that these ideas would spread across the world from Europe.[2]
    The contemporary common political conception of progressivism emerged from the vast social changes brought about by industrialization in the Western world in the late 19th century. Progressives take the view that progress is being stifled by vast economic inequality between the rich and the poor; minimally regulated laissez-faire capitalism with monopolistic corporations; and the intense and often violent conflict between those perceived to be privileged and unprivileged, arguing that measures were needed to address these problems.[3]” — antonyms: sociopath, troglodyte, autocrat, bigot, right winger.

  12. “I was misinformed” – the story of your online edhat comment life I suppose lol. I would argue it was sheer stupidity and negligence on the part of the propmaster/armorer on set, not Mr. Baldwin. He was told it was a “cold gun” meaning no live rounds were in the chamber. That was apparently false, through no fault of his own. Try reading up on the incident before you type ; )

  13. I, too, hope that in the future babycakes does not continue to type, write, or misinform on Edhat without first being fully read-up on any subject. We too know that most of the garbage that is posted in the comments section keeps readers coming back for more.

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