Lt. Paul McCaffrey displays 18 stolen guns that were found in the trunk of Eric Ross's car

Paul Wellman

Lt. Paul McCaffrey displays 18 stolen guns that were found in the trunk of Eric Ross's car

Convicted Felon Found with Stolen Guns Faces Four Years

Eric Ross Was Pulled Over in July During a Routine Traffic Stop

Saturday, April 6, 2013
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A convicted felon who had 18 firearms in the trunk of his car when he was pulled over during a routine traffic stop in July pleaded Friday to a charge of a felon in possession of a firearm. He’ll be sentenced to four years in state prison next month.

Eric Ross was pulled over early in the morning on July 19, 2012, for not having a rear license plate light, according to police. Ross admitted to the officer his license was suspended, and a records check also showed Ross had a warrant out for his arrest in Kings County on alleged rape and witness intimidation charges.

Eric Allen Ross
Click to enlarge photo


Eric Allen Ross

A search of the vehicle turned up several shotgun shells in the center console, police said, and 18 various handguns and long guns, two of which were loaded. There were also 47 boxes of 15 types of ammunition in the car.

Ross, police said, told them the guns were the property of his recently deceased father, and he was going to Orange County to try to sell them. An investigation, however, revealed the weapons had been stolen during a residential burglary in Caruthers.

Ross had already served a prison term, and as part of the plea deal, admitted his prior strike. Fresno County authorities, according to Santa Barbara police at the time of the arrest, considered Ross a parolee at large and to be armed and dangerous.

His sentencing is May 10.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

What is the legal basis for a search of the vehicle?

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
April 6, 2013 at 8:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

How about the warrant for his arrest and the fact that he was on parole?

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
April 6, 2013 at 11:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@John Locke, recent SCOTUS decisions tackle this delicate issue, see

The Supremes seem to think if drug stuff if involved there is a basis for the officers to search the suspect's vehicle... it's very interesting that your only question is "what's the legal basis for searching the vehicle?" of an ex-con who'd been charged with suspician of rape and witness intimidation. The Fresno County authorities saw Ross as an at-large parolee both armed and dangerous. Kudos to law enforcement here for checking on the taillight, noting he had no license, finding out about the rape warrants and removing this veryheavily armed man from the streets of Santa Barbara. Some of the handguns were loaded and ready to fire. As a center-left guy you have to approve the "State" in form of SBPD doing their business and apprehending this parolee with 18 guns and 47 boxes of ammo. Way too many guns out there, and as a fellow center-left guy you surely agree with me that the government needs even stronger laws for gun control (as in Conn.).

DrDan (anonymous profile)
April 6, 2013 at 12:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

JLocke there doesn't have to be a reason, the legal basis for a search of a parolee is at will by any LEO and does not require a search warrant.

from the prisoners rights handbook:

"The standard CDCR “Notice and Conditions of Parole” requires every parolee to agree that “[y]ou and your residence and any property under your control may be searched without a warrant by an agent of the Department of Corrections or any law enforcement officer.”
This requirement has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Consequently, a search can be conducted without the parolee’s consent, without a search warrant, without probable cause, and without a reasonable suspicion that the parolee has violated parole. Parole agents and other law enforcement officers may also freely search a parolee’s property after a parole hold is placed and the parolee is placed in custody but before the BPH has revoked parole."

pointssouth (anonymous profile)
April 6, 2013 at 3:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This is an example of how well gun-control laws work to keep the criminals in check.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
April 6, 2013 at 7:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

BC, opposite: this is an example of a need for better, tighter, better-enforced gun control laws. Let's look at Conn.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
April 7, 2013 at 7:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@BC: I agree that gun control laws worked here, and helped check a criminal. A felon in possession of guns he stole (presumably) from citizens who owned them legally lost them. And the guns were confiscated and the felon was incarcerated (presumably) before he used the guns in another crime. Isn't this situation akin to catching a drunk driver before damage is done, and using drunk-driving laws to keep at least a few losers off the streets? Who can complain? The system works! Hooray!

hodgmo (anonymous profile)
April 7, 2013 at 8:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I wonder if the residence in Caruthers where the guns were stolen kept them in a safe? Or are gun safes unfashionable these days? I suppose a safe would hinder the young'uns from playing with them.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
April 7, 2013 at 11:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Glad this loser is off the streets for a while, too bad it's only 4 years.

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
April 7, 2013 at 10:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Can we add a ZERO to the right of that 4? Have fun at the human zoo, guntard.

Draxor (anonymous profile)
April 8, 2013 at 8:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

(This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of use policy.)

Muggy (anonymous profile)
April 8, 2013 at 1:11 p.m.

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