SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — A traffic stop in Stockton Tuesday led to the discovery of over 280 stolen catalytic converters across San Joaquin County.
Around 3:30 p.m., deputies stopped a vehicle in the area of Roosevelt Street and School Avenue and discovered one of the occupants was on probation.
Inside the vehicle, deputies said they found cut catalytic converters.
An investigation into the stolen catalytic converters led investigators to several locations across San Joaquin County where search warrants were served.
The sheriff’s office said its searches uncovered 281 stolen catalytic converters, as well as 150 Norco pills and $700 in cash.
One of the homes that was searched was “horrifically uninhabitable,” the sheriff’s office said. Children who were found at the home had to be removed by Child Protective Services.
Five people were arrested during the investigation. One of the suspects is 45-year-old Michael Anthony Blair, who now faces 278 counts of being a junk dealer or recycler who failed to keep the written record required by law, for buying or receiving stolen property, conspiracy, and drug charges. The four other suspects face charges for child endangerment and active warrants.