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Inmate finds gun in his Santa Barbara County Jail mattress, turns it in

An inmate in the Santa Barbara County Jail off Foster Road in Santa Maria recently found something that gave everyone in the jail quite a scare.

That man was recently arrested, accused of being under the influence. So he spent the night in jail and woke up with a kink in his neck. He says he was wondering why his sleep was so uncomfortable – so he did a little searching – and found a gun in his mattress.

“Wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning and tried to bail out, so my neck was hurting, so I kind of folded the mattress, laid on something metal and I know they don’t have springs in them so I looked inside and it was a revolver,” former inmate Johnny Salas said.

“Definitely, this inmate did the right thing by immediately notifying custody deputies,” Kelly Hoover with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office confirms that on Sunday September 11 , 2016, an inmate being held in the Santa Barbara County, Santa Maria Jail, turned over a partially disassembled handgun to an on-duty Custody Deputy.

The handgun was missing several key components and was unable to be fired. The inmate reported he found the item hidden in a mattress in the cell he shared with several other detainees. An investigation was conducted by both Sheriff’s Patrol and Custody Deputies into how the item was brought into the facility and who might have owned it.

As part of that investigation, areas of both the Santa Maria and Santa Barbara Main Jail were searched by Custody Deputies. No other dangerous contraband was discovered. No one has been charged in connection with this incident and the investigation is still on-going. The Sheriff’s Office says incidents like this one are very unusual.

Salas says he’s glad he did the right thing by turning in the gun. He hopes this will make others look at him in a positive way.

“They look at me like a bad person, they stereotype me and everything, but you know I’ve got the biggest heart in the world, I love my kids, I have four kids, you know I needed to go in here, I needed to clear my mind,” Salas said.

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