Driver at NYC Gas Station Found With AK-47, Hundreds of Rounds of Ammunition: NYPD - NBC New York

Driver at NYC Gas Station Found With AK-47, Hundreds of Rounds of Ammunition: NYPD

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Cops Seize Guns, Ammo in Washington Heights Traffic Stop

    Now they're trying to figure out why the man they arrested drove up to New York from South Carolina. Marc Santia reports. (Published Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016)

    A South Carolina man was found with an AK-47 assault rifle, a shotgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in his car when police followed him into a gas station in Manhattan, authorities say.

    The driver caught police's attention when he began weaving in and out of traffic at 173rd Street and Broadway in Washington Heights without using a turn signal, police said.

    Surveillance video obtained exclusively by NBC 4 New York shows the alleged driver, Cleon Cortez, then pulling his Dodge Durango into a gas station. He gets out at the gas pump and is immediately ordered back into the SUV.

    Officers smelled marijuana, police said, and patted down the driver. They then saw a rifle case in the back seat of the car, according to police. 

    Inside the case, police found the AK-47, the ammunition and a double-barrel shotgun with 325 rounds.

    Law enforcement sources said investigators are looking into why Cortez was in Washington Heights and whether the weapons were used in any crimes across the country. They're also checking to see if he's wanted anywhere.

    Cortez once lived in New York City and is no stranger to the law, sources said. He was arrested 30 times by the NYPD, and was last arrested in the city in 1999. 

    He was in police custody Wednesday and not available for comment. Attorney information wasn't immediately clear. 

    Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anywhere, anytime