Broken taillight leads to big charges

Pistol found under seat of car during stop

— A broken brake light got the attention of officer Ricardo Abarca at midnight Tuesday and led to an arrest on weapons charges.

According to Abarca’s charging narrative for Yakima County Superior Court, he stopped a Nissan Pathfinder in the 100 block of North Euclid Road and soon learned he had more than a taillight on his hands.

Abarca wrote that the driver made “furtive” movements as he approached, reaching all the way across the car. Then, Abarca wrote, he was surprised to see a passenger pop up in the passenger seat.

After a bit, the record shows, Abarca recognized the 39-year-old driver, Jose Angel Ortega, from prior contacts. Ortega continued to reach to the other side, Abarca said, and he called for police backup.

Officer Jasper Rubalcava and Sgt. Kevin Glasenapp arrived almost immediately. Because of the furtive movements, Glasenapp advised a security sweep of the car, records show.

Ortega and Lukes Lorenzo Herrera were removed from the car, according to the narrative. The security immediately turned up a handgun under the passenger seat, Abarca wrote.

Abarca stopped the sweep and closed the door. He advised Herrera and Ortega they were being held for investigation of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Abarca learned the two men were convicted felons. With a warrant, he did a complete search of the car with the help of Glasenapp, Rubalcava and officer Cole Hecker.

Rubalcava’s narrative said the search turned up a .357 Taurus revolver, a shotgun shell and more than 5 ounces of marijuana.

Ortega was booked into jail for unlawful possession of a firearm and a controlled substance.


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