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Felon Found Passed Out In Car With 300 Election Ballots, Drugs, And Firearm

Torrance, CA – Over 300 ballots for California Governor Gavin Newsom’s upcoming recall election were found inside a convicted felon’s vehicle last week, according to police.

The discovery was made at approximately 10:45 p.m. on Aug. 16 after Torrance police were dispatched to a report of a man passed out in a vehicle parked at a 7-11 store on Emerald Street, Torrance Police Department (TPD) Sergeant Mark Ponegalek told the Los Angeles Times.

As officers were investigating the situation, they discovered Xanax, methamphetamine, a scale, a loaded firearm, and multiple credit cards and California driver’s licenses in other people’s names inside the suspect’s vehicle, the TPD said in a Facebook post.

They also found “thousands of pieces of mail,” the TPD noted.

Among the mail items inside the convicted felon’s car were more than 300 ballots for the upcoming Sept. 14 recall election, FOX News reported.

Police said new election ballots will be sent out to voters identified during the investigation and noted they do not believe they were tied to any ballot thefts, according to the news outlet.

The ballots each have a unique barcode assigned to an individual voter, the Los Angeles Times reported.

It is unclear how the felon got his hands on the ballots or what he planned to do with them.

“There’s two questions we need to answer in this investigation,” Sgt. Ponegalek told KCAL. “How did those ballots end up in his vehicle, and what was his intent with those ballots? Right now, we’re still trying to figure that out.”

The TPD Special Investigations Division, the Los Angeles County District Attorney Public Integrity Unit and the U.S. Postal Service are handling the ongoing investigation, FOX News reported.

The suspect, whose name hasn’t been released, is facing numerous forgery, narcotics and weapons charges.

He has already been released on his own recognizance, KCAL reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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