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Office of the District Attorney - Maggie Fleming, District AttorneyPRESS RELEASE
August 17, 2017
On August 16, 2017 a jury convicted 23-year-old Ivan Martinez-Chavarin of possession of a firearm by a felon, two counts of unlawful firearm activity, and possession of a controlled substance while armed with a firearm. The convictions stem from a routine traffic stop on April 3, 2017 by Officer Dustin Nantz of the Eureka Police Department (EPD). While speaking with the defendant, who was a passenger in the vehicle stopped, Officer Nantz noticed a holster on the defendant’s hip. The officer then requested back-up and ran a records check on the defendant. Officer Nantz learned through dispatch that Mr. Martinez-Chavarin had a felony warrant for his arrest and that he was on felony probation for a 2016 conviction for domestic violence and for making criminal threats. Mr. Martinez-Chavarin was also on two grants of misdemeanor probation for unlawfully taking a vehicle, and for assault. When additional EPD officers arrived, the defendant was taken out of the vehicle and detained, for officer safety reasons and to conduct an investigation. After the defendant exited the vehicle, EPD Sergeant Eddie Wilson saw the grip of a semi-automatic hand gun on the floor board of the passenger seat where Mr. Martinez-Chavarin had been seated. Officers took possession of the weapon, a loaded semi-automatic .380 caliber handgun. A subsequent search of the defendant yielded a small plastic bag containing methamphetamine.
Today, Judge Reinholtsen found true Mr. Martinez-Chavarin’s prior conviction for criminal threats - a strike offense under California law - and also found the defendant to be in violation of his felony probation and his two misdemeanor probations.
All the felony matters have been referred to the Humboldt County Probation Department for pre-sentencing reports; sentencing is scheduled for September 12, 2017. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of 9 years and 8 months. He is currently in custody.
The case was investigated by the Eureka Police Department and prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Christopher Yi with the assistance of District Attorney Investigators.