Hundreds of ballots for California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recall election, drugs and a loaded gun were found last week in a vehicle where a felon was passed out inside, authorities said Monday.
Police responded to a call of a man passed out in a vehicle in a 7-Eleven parking lot in Torrance on Aug. 16, the Torrance Police Department said.
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During the investigation, officers learned the suspect was a felon and had Xanax pills in his possession. Police said a further investigation found thousands of pieces of mail, including over 300 ballots for the upcoming recall election of embattled Gov. Gavin Newsom inside the vehicle.
In addition to the mail and ballots, police found a loaded firearm, methamphetamine, a scale and multiple California driver’s licenses and credit cards in other people’s names.
Police said new election ballots were being sent to those identified through the investigation and that the incident was not tied to any additional thefts of election ballots.
It was not immediately clear how the ballots ended up in the suspect’s vehicle or what he intended to do with them. Police said the incident is being investigated in partnership with the U.S. Postal Service and the Los Angeles County District Attorney Public Integrity Unit.
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The suspect was arrested and faces numerous weapons, narcotics and forgery charges. His name was not released.
Newsom’s recall election will be held on Sept.14. The recall push was launched in June of last year over claims the governor mishandled the state’s response to the pandemic.
The effort surged in November after Newsom appeared to skirt the state-imposed coronavirus restrictions when he was spotted dining in a high-end restaurant without a mask and surrounded by people from outside of his own household.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.