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Mahwah police find loaded handgun, Oxy, cash in gang member stop

Photo Credit: Mahwah PD

CVP FIRST: Mahwah police said an admitted Crips gang member had a loaded .38-caliber handgun sticking from his jacket pocket when they stopped a car he was in on Route 17. They said they also found a switchblade, Oxycodone and $4,000 in cash in the vehicle.

Esteban Ortiz (MUGSHOT: Mahwah PD)

Officer John Lange reported that he pulled over the New York-registered car on southbound Route 17 near Ramapo Valley Road Saturday afternoon for having an obstructed view.

While talking to the driver, Lange said, he noticed the smell of burnt marijuana in the car, so he called for backup. Lt. Jeffrey Dino and Officer Jonathan Weber arrived moments later.

After ordering the two occupants out of the car, Weber immediately noticed the handgun sticking out of the passenger’s pocket, Dino said.

Esteban Ortiz, an admitted Crip from Middletown, N.Y., was immediately arrested, the lieutenant said.

The search followed.

Ortiz, 21, is being held on $75,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with three weapons counts.

The driver, Michael Kessler, also from Middletown, was released without bail after being booked on a pot charge and given traffic summonses.

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