A city man driving with a handgun and marijuana in his car began to shed tears when police pulled him over on Chestnut Street for careless driving on Saturday night, according to public safety director Jerry Speziale.
Javier Ortega, 38-year-old, was driving in a black Chrysler 300 at around 9 p.m. on Summer Street. He made a speedy turn onto Cedar Street almost hitting the curb. Police officers in a marked vehicle began to follow the vehicle.
Police observed Ortega turn left onto Chestnut Street without signaling a turn. Ortega then improperly parked in front of the driveway of 14 Chestnut Street. Police turned on their lights and sirens to conduct a traffic stop.
Ortega was approached by two officers. Both were struck by a strong odor of marijuana. Police observed a marijuana grinder in middle of the cup holder in the car. He was ordered out of the vehicle.
When police asked if he had any other contraband in his vehicle, Ortega began to cry. Asked again, he continued shedding tears and asked if he could call his girlfriend. Police confiscated a Charter Arms Pink Lady .38 SPL from under the front passenger seat.
Police said the revolver had five .38 S&W caliber rounds. The weapon was reported stolen.
Under the rear passenger seat was a blue plastic bag containing 53 silver baggies or half-pound of marijuana.
Ortega was charged with marijuana possession, intent to distribute, intent to distribute in a school zone, possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, receiving stolen property, certain persons not to possess weapons, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Police issued motor vehicle summonses for careless driving, driving unlicensed, driving while suspended, failing to signal turn, and for having drugs in a motor vehicle.
Police officers Jon Dabal and Mohammad Bashir conducted the successful stop.
“I am inspired by the officers’ ability to see situations for what they are,” Speziale said.