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Traffic stop leads to gun, drug jailing

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A late night traffic stop in East Columbus led to two arrests Friday.

Columbus Police Department Officer Kyle Young was in the area of McKinley Avenue and Smith Street around 11 p.m. when he observed a vehicle with a false and fictitious license plate.

When he pulled over the vehicle, the driver, Wilfrido Garcia, 41, of Columbus, placed his hands out he window and made statements indicating he had outstanding warrants.

Garcia, who had a warrant for failure to appear, had previously been convicted of armed robbery in 1989.

While searching the vehicle, Young found a .22-caliber loaded handgun on the driver’s side floorboard. Garcia was also in possession of a Taser and hydrocodone without a prescription, police said.

He was arrested on charges of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, a Class B felony, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, a Class D felony, and operating a motor vehicle without ever obtaining a drivers license, which is a misdemeanor. He will also be issued a citation for a false and fictitious display of a license plate and the outstanding warrant. Garcia was transported to Bartholomew County Jail where he’s being held on a $76,000 bond.

Justine Beasley, 25, of Nashville, was a passenger in the car and also had a warrant for failure to appear on a shoplifting charge. She was transported to Bartholomew County Jail where she’s also being held in lieu of $603.94 bond.

A third female passenger was released at the scene.

Convicted felons and firearms are not a good mix, and unfortunately we’re seeing more of it happening, Columbus Police Department spokesman Lt. Matt Myers said.

“That is disturbing to us,” Myers said. “We’re glad this incident turned out the way it did and no one was injured.”

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