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  • Writer's pictureABQ RAW

Late-Night Traffic Stop Unearths Firearms and Underage Drinking

BY: ABQ RAW staff

POSTED: 09/15/2023 @ 9:45PM

Kevin Ortega and Larry Pena of Albuquerque.

Albuquerque - In the early hours of September 14, 2023, Bernalillo County Sheriff's deputies patrolling the Rio Bravo and Del Rio area encountered a seemingly routine traffic stop that quickly escalated into a concerning situation involving firearms and underage drinking.

At approximately 1:14AM, a deputy observed a silver Dodge truck with a New Mexico plate. However, a check revealed that the license plate belonged to a silver Toyota. After the vehicle turned off Del Rio but was later spotted on Coors and Blake, a traffic stop was conducted.

The driver, identified as 23-year-old Kevin Ortega, of Albuquerque, exhibited signs of intoxication, including slurred speech and red, bloodshot, and watery eyes. The vehicle emitted the smell of alcohol, and an open can of 4 Loko was found in the rear, near a juvenile passenger and another adult, 18-year-old, Larry Pena of Albuquerque. Additionally, a juvenile was in the front passenger seat.

The situation took a more alarming turn when an AR-style gun with a folding stock was discovered beneath a minor's feet in the front seat, leading to the detention of all vehicle occupants. A further search revealed an open can of Peach Twisted Tea in the passenger door and unopened cans of the same beverage, along with spent casings of .223 or 5.56 ammunition, matching the AR-style gun.

The officer secured the AR-style gun, which had a live round in the chamber, and placed it in the patrol vehicle. Given the presence of alcohol, firearms, impaired occupants, and spent casings, both adults, Ortega and Pena, were arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Ortega was arrested for a DWI.

Miranda rights were read to the two juveniles. One chose not to speak with deputies, while the other immediately requested legal representation.

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