Valley seat belt scofflaw busted for drugs, gun

SUNNYSIDE -- Being a seat belt scofflaw ended up sending a 24-year-old Sunnyside man to jail Tuesday after the officer who stopped him for not wearing a seat belt found a gun and drug pipes in his pickup.

Robert C. Licea was arrested on suspicion of failing to wear a seat belt, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing drug paraphernalia and less than 40 grams of marijuana.

A Sunnyside police officer pulled Licea over just before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 400 block of Lincoln Avenue for not wearing a seat belt. But the officer smelled marijuana when he approached Licea's black Chevrolet S-10, prompting a search of the pickup.

The officer found a .25-caliber Raven MP-25, a magazine for the semi-automatic pistol, a marijuana pipe and two methamphetamine pipes inside.