‘Nervous’ Men at Traffic Stop Prompt Police to Search Bag in SUV, Discovering Firearm With Modification Chip
ST. THOMAS — Three men are facing charges after a traffic stop search turns up a modified firearm and ammunition.
On Tuesday afternoon, police were conducting traffic operations on St. Peter Mountain Road, when they pulled over a red SUV that one officer observed to have failed to yield at a stop sign.
As soon as one officer approached the vehicle, he alerted his colleagues that he knew the driver David Valdivieso Medina, from a “previous traffic encounter.” This time, officers say Medina was fidgety, “erratic in his movements,” and so were his two passengers Andres Guerrero and Jhosnel Garcia. Medina tried to exit the vehicle when asked for his documents, police reported, and had to be ordered back to his seat, where he kept turning to look at a black bag on the back seat.
Meanwhile, Garcia and Guerrero sat shaking in their seats. Guerrero was in the back reaching for the black bag that had captured Medina’s attention. He reportedly kept reaching for the bag despite more than one officer telling him to stop, at which police asked for permission to search the bag.
Permission granted, one officer looked inside to find “a tan firearm with what appeared to be a chip at the end,” according to court documents, later identified as a Glock 19 9mm with a full 17-round magazine. The three men were immediately arrested.
While VIPD officers were processing the scene, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations agents showed up. They informed local law enforcement that the men currently under arrest had been under federal surveillance for some time. Police also discovered that the tag on the red SUV actually belonged to a different vehicle.
David Valdivieso Medina, Andres Guerrero, and Jhosnel Garcia were each charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm, possession of an unlicensed machine gun, unauthorized possession of a firearm in a vehicle, and possession of illegal ammunition.
All three were scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday for their first hearing.
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