By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — BEVERLY — Police say a random check on a vehicle in a parking lot off Rantoul Street on Wednesday evening resulted in the seizure of a handgun from its center console and the arrest of two men.
Christopher Ortiz, 34, of 334 Sandown Road, East Hampstead, N.H., was arrested on charges of carrying a firearm without a license to carry, possession of ammunition without a license to carry or an FID card, and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, according to a press release from Officer Mike Boccuzzi.
A 33-year-old man Salem man, a passenger in the vehicle, was arrested on warrants.
The incident occurred around 6:30 p.m., when two officers patrolling a Rantoul Street parking lot “known for high incidents of criminal activity” conducted a “random query” of a Honda Civic with New Hampshire license plates and determined that the registered owner had a suspended license, Boccuzzi said.
The officers subsequently conducted a traffic stop and arrested Ortiz, the operator, and found a .45-caliber handgun in the center console and various rounds of ammunition in the vehicle’s trunk, Boccuzzi said.
The gun was not loaded at the time.