Police: Illegal guns found in cars during West Hartford traffic stops

WEST HARTFORD — Two men were arrested after police say they found loaded handguns in their cars during separate traffic stops.

Sergio Cruz, 31, of Bridgeport, was arrested Friday on charges of criminal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a high-capacity magazine and illegal possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle, West Hartford Police Capt. Daniel Moffo said.

Police pulled over Cruz around 1:30 p.m. Friday after witnessing his vehicle commit moving violations, according to Moffo. During the investigation, a police K-9 detected narcotics on the passenger side front door and officers discovered a loaded handgun under the driver’s seat, according to Moffo.

In addition to the motor vehicle and firearm offenses, Cruz was also charged with sale of a controlled substance because the vehicle was additionally found to contain marijuana and materials used to package and sell drugs, according to Moffo. Following his arrest, Cruz posted a $250,000 bond, Moffo said. He is scheduled to appear in court in Hartford on Feb. 9.

Nehemiah Lewis, 22, of Hartford, was arrested Sunday evening, according to Moffo. Lewis was charged with carrying a pistol without a permit, improper storage of a pistol or revolver in a motor vehicle, illegal possession of a high-capacity magazine and various motor vehicle offenses, Moffo said.

Police stopped Lewis around 5 p.m. Sunday after noticing his vehicle displayed misused license plates and determined he was wanted by Hartford police for disorderly conduct, according to Moffo. The investigating officer found a single bullet on the passenger side floorboard before conducting a search of the vehicle that turned up a loaded handgun under the driver’s seat as well as ammunition and an extended magazine, Moffo said.

Following his arrest, Lewis was held on a $100,000 bond, according to Moffo. He was released into the custody of judicial marshals for arraignment.