A Richmond man was arrested in rural Sonoma County Tuesday after reports of semi-automatic gunfire in the area led to the discovery of a truck containing a notable amount of weaponry.
Inside a pickup that had been pulled over by sheriff’s deputies on Alexander Road near the Russian River Bridge shortly after 11 p.m., authorities reportedly found an AR-15 assault rifle, 1,243 rifle rounds, a .38 revolver and bullets, several exploding targets, a lock-pick set, 100-round loaded drum magazine and multiple other illegal capacity rifle magazines.
The truck’s driver, 35-year-old Samuel Miekle of Richmond, was arrested on multiple counts as he is a convicted felon who is prohibited by law from possessing firearms and ammunition, said Sgt. Cecile Focha of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. A passenger in the truck was released without charges.
Deputies suspect Miekle was shooting off his gun about 11 miles up Pine Flat Road, adding this wasn’t his first time doing so. People called 911 just before 10:50 p.m. Tuesday saying they heard rapid gunfire, as if coming from a semi-automatic gun.
About 20 minutes later, deputies spotted a gray Toyota pickup that matched the description provided by witnesses, Focha said.
Miekle was with a passenger when he was pulled over, and deputies soon recognized him as having been arrested for a similar incident in April. Deputies said they saw a loaded, high-capacity, drum-style magazine in plain sight. They had also received reports that Miekle had tossed a handgun out of the window prior to being pulled over, Focha said.
“The deputies were able to find the pistol and safely recovered it,” she said.
Mielke was still facing charges in connection with the April firearms case. Now he’s going to face a whole lot more.
He was booked on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm; possessing an assault weapon; possessing ammunition; possessing large capacity magazines; destruction/concealment of evidence; and possession of burglary tools.
His bail was increased to $50,000 and is scheduled to appear in court Monday, Focha said.