A drug dealer said he had a machine gun to protect himself

A drug dealer told federal agents he was carrying a machine gun for protection, according to an arrest affidavit.

Laredo police stopped a black Chevy Malibu March 2 in the 1400 block of San Dario Avenue for ignoring a red light. Police identified the driver as Santos Garcia Jr. Officers could smell marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.

The police then asked Garcia for his consent to search his vehicle. Garcia would have accepted. The search revealed a firearm with a small, square-shaped device attached to the back of the slide. Authorities also discovered a 9mm Glock magazine with a capacity of 40 rounds and a pill bottle containing suspected crack.

LPD contacted special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and informed them of the firearm with the small square-shaped device that was attached to the slide and that it seemed like a “Glock switch”.

Special agents responded and identified the firearm as a 9mm Glock 17 fitted with a “Glock switch”, making it a machine gun.

In an interview with the ATF, Garcia said he received the machine gun as a gift about a week ago. He placed the machine gun under the front passenger seat. He added that he knew the machine gun was fully automatic, the affidavit states.

“Garcia told ATF officers that he is currently on five years probation for evading arrest in a motor vehicle and is under pending trial. Garcia also told officers that he was a crack dealer and carried the machine gun for his protection,” the affidavit states. “ATF officers tested the machine gun and learned that the machine gun was serviceable and fired several rounds of ammunition from 9mm in rapid succession while the trigger is held.

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