An ex-con caught carrying a half-pound of methamphetamine in his car while armed with a pistol in Jurupa Valley was sentenced Friday to four years in state prison.

Ramon Elias Rivas, 34, pleaded guilty in April to transportation of drugs for sale with a sentence-enhancing allegation of committing a crime for the benefit of a criminal street gang. In exchange for his admission, prosecutors dropped charges of possession of a controlled substance and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Bambi Moyer certified the terms of the plea deal and imposed the sentence stipulated by the prosecution and defense.

According to sheriff’s Sgt. Frank Lodes, on the afternoon of Jan. 3, anti-gang investigators spotted Rivas, a documented gang member, at the Rubidoux Boulevard on-ramp to the Pomona (60) Freeway and stopped him to conduct a parole compliance check.

When deputies searched the defendant’s vehicle, they uncovered the bags of meth, as well as a loaded .380 semi-automatic handgun and several wads of cash, Lodes said.

The vehicle and contraband were seized, and Rivas was taken into custody without a struggle.

According to court records, the defendant has prior convictions for robbery, burglary and felony evading.

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