Police are investigating after a convicted felon was found passed out on drugs with multiple driver’s licenses, a loaded firearm and hundreds of pieces of mail. The vehicle was discovered in Torrance, which is part of the LA metropolitan area, in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven. Torrance police made the arrest on the night of August 16, which they initially announced in a Facebook post.
Authorities described the driver of the vehicle as a “felon” but did not give a name or prior convictions. Police added that they also found methamphetamine, thousands of pieces of mail, a scale, and multiple California drivers licenses and credit cards. The discovery was made after police responded to a call of a man passed out in a vehicle, according to the police.
On Monday, The Torrance Police department provided an update on the case. Sgt. Mark Ponegalek, a spokesman for the department, announced that upwards of 300 California recall election ballots were discovered in the vehicle. Ponegalek stated that the ballots were “intact” and would be remaining at the police department in the property evidence room. “The two questions are: How did the ballots end up in his car, and what was his intent with those ballots?” said Ponegalek.
Police said the department’s Special Investigations Division has partnered with the U.S. Postal Service and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Offices Public Integrity Unit to look into the theft. “We’re looking at all avenues, so if the investigation takes us that way, then we’re going that way. But I can’t tell you one way or another if he was trying to do election voter fraud,” Ponegalek said of the investigation. He also noted that the incident struck him as odd. “Been a cop for 17 years, never come across a vehicle with over 300 election ballots just sitting in the back seat.”
Officials said that people affected would receive another ballot. In February, California lawmakers enacted legislation that would send a mail-in ballot to every registered voter in the state for the recall election. California also did this for the 2020 election, citing COVID-19 concerns. “We are working currently with the Los Angeles election office to get them all the names that are on those ballots [so they can] reissue those ballots,” Ponegalek told The Epoch Times.
The California recall election is slated for September 14.
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