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Speeding Palisades Parkway Motorist Caught With Gun, Ammo Sentenced To Nearly Decade In Prison

Alfonso Cortez
Alfonso Cortez Photo Credit: Rockland County District Attorney's Office

A 37-year-old man stopped for speeding on the Palisades Interstate Parkway has been sentenced to nearly a decade in prison after a loaded gun was found in his vehicle.

Alfonso Cortez of the Bronx was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years in prison and two-and-a-half-years post-release for one count of criminal possession of a weapon following his May 18, conviction during a jury trial, said the Rockland County District Attorney's Office.

Cortez was also sentenced to two-and-a-half years in state prison and one-and-a-half post-release on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, the DA's Office added.

The incident took place around 7:30 p.m., Sept. 19, 2017, after a New York State Trooper, observed Cortez violating various laws, including speeding, on the northbound Palisades Interstate Parkway in Orangetown, the DA's Office said.

Following a traffic stop and search of Cortez's vehicle, the trooper recovered a locked, metal gun safe containing a loaded Smith and Wesson 9mm semi-automatic pistol.

According to the charges, the gun held 15 rounds in the clip and one round in the chamber. Also recovered from Cortez' truck was a gun cleaning kit and two loaded Smith and Wesson 9mm magazines. One magazine contained 15 (9mm) rounds and the second magazine contained 16 (9mm) rounds - both considered large-capacity ammunition feeding devices.

The gun was later test-fired by investigators.

“The defendant possessed a loaded deadly weapon, including a small stockpile of ammunition, posing a potential threat to public safety," said District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said. "Under the circumstances, these state prison sentences are more than warranted.”

Supervising Assistant District Attorney Nabeela McLeod prosecuted the case.

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