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Man gets prison time for drug sale, chase
Co-defendant released with time served, probation
VICTORVILLE • A man was sentenced to two years in prison after a hand-to-hand drug sale led to a vehicle pursuit through Hesperia and Victorville.
Steven Alex Caldera, 37, accepted the prosecution’s offer and pleaded no contest to possession of methamphetamine for sale and being a felon possessing a firearm, according to Deputy District Attorney Kurt Maier. Co-defendant Mercedes Vasquez, 21, also took a plea bargain and pleaded guilty Friday to possession of drugs for sale.
Victorville Superior Court Judge Lorenzo Balderrama put Vasquez on three-years of probation and admitted her into a drug court program. She was released after earning 35 days of jail credit time as she waited in custody for the case to be resolved.
On Oct. 29, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies saw Vasquez complete a drug transaction in a parking lot near Hesperia and Seneca roads, officials said. As they tried to make contact with Vasquez, she jumped into a waiting vehicle with Caldera behind the wheel and another unidentified man passenger.
Caldera took them on a slow-speed chase and pulled to the side of the road to let Vasquez and the other passenger get out of the vehicle, officials said.
Vasquez was arrested after a short foot pursuit, whereas the other passenger managed to escape.
Caldera continued to drive and threw out a gun from his vehicle, officials said. The pursuit ended after he drove into a parking lot where spike strips were deployed.
Caldera was on probation for being a felon in possession of a firearm, but had been released from custody under Assembly Bill 109.
The District Attorney’s office decided not to file charges against the man who was in Caldera’s car because he was just a passenger, Maier said.
Tomoya Shimura may be reached at (760) 955-5368 or TShimura@VVDailyPress.com. Follow Tomoya on Facebook at facebook.com/ShimuraTomoya.
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