WIMAUMA, Fla. (WFLA) — A certified MS-13 gang member was arrested in Hillsborough County on Monday, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies were called to the area of Lenfred Drive and Palmetto Road in Wimauma around 6 p.m. Sunday for a report of an armed person seen in the area.
Neighbors told responding deputies they saw a man standing in the street with a long gun, yelling at passing cars to stop. They also said he was jumping in front of cars to try to make them stop.
When deputies started searching the area, they found 21-year-old Raul Garcia Jr. wearing black shorts and no shirt, carrying a black and brown rifle in his hands. The sheriff’s office says Garcia ran into nearby woods when deputies told him to stop and drop the rifle.
K9 units and a helicopter were then brought in to help deputies search for Garcia in the wooded area. Authorities could not find Garcia, but say they found a Norinko SKS AK-47 rifle and a green bag that he was seen carrying. When they looked inside the bag, deputies found three small baggies with a white substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, along with four meth pipes and five live .38 caliber rounds.
He was located and arrested Monday morning on Highway 301 South near SR-674 in Wimauma. Garcia is facing several charges including improper exhibition of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine and felon in possession of a firearm.
According to the sheriff’s office, Garcia is a certified MS-13 gang member. They say the rifle was not reported stolen and they do not know its history.