Santa Rosa police seize guns, drugs and cash after drug-deal arrest

Santa Rosa police on Friday arrested a suspected drug dealer with alleged gang ties and seized a pair of loaded semi-automatic handguns, marijuana packaged for sale and a large sum of cash in warrant searches of his vehicle and home.

Anthony Tyler Thomas Benavides, 22, of Santa Rosa, was detained in a traffic stop after a drug deal witnessed by Santa Rosa gang detectives in the 900 block of Aston Avenue, police said.

Benavides matched the description of the dealer given by detectives who witnessed the transaction, police said.

Following the stop, in the area of Kawana Springs Road and Petaluma Hill Road, police secured a search warrant for Benavides’ vehicle and home, where they turned up the two loaded handguns, marijuana, scales, packaging materials and an undisclosed amount of cash.

Benavides was arrested on suspicion of a half-?dozen drug and weapons charges, as well as driving without a license.

The suspect has had connections with known gang members, said Sgt. Tommy Isachsen, and gang paraphernalia, including clothing and drawings, was found in the search of his Aston Avenue home.

The buyer in the reported pot deal, a 17-year-old boy, also was arrested and booked into juvenile hall. He was caught after trying to flee from officers on his bike, police said. His name was not released because of his age.

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