A routine traffic stop in Orangetown by New York State Police could lead to 15 years in prison for a man convicted Monday on weapons possession charges, according to Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe.
Alfonso Cortez, 37, of the Bronx, was convicted by a jury on several counts of felony criminal possession of a weapon following his arrest on Sept. 19, on the Palisades Parkway in Orangetown, the DA's Office said.
Troopers conducted the traffic stop after Cortez was spotted committing vehicle and traffic law violations on the parkway, including speeding. During the stop, the trooper searched Cortez's pick-up truck and uncovered 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 DA's Office said.
“The loaded gun and a small stockpile of ammunition in the defendant's vehicle posed a potential threat to public safety," said Zugibe. "It's disturbing that so much deadly firepower was moving through our community. The defendant now faces a lengthy term of incarceration for his actions.”
Cortez was remanded to the Rockland County Jail after the jury returned the verdict. Sentencing will be on Sept. 5.
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