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Talking & driving on cell ends with Mercedes impounded, known gang member jailed

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POSTED February 20, 2009 4:41 a.m.
It is not good to be talking on a cell phone while driving, especially when a passenger in your car has a loaded weapon tucked into his waistband.

Manteca Police traffic officer Patrick Danipour stopped a 1994 Mercedes at about 11 a.m. Wednesday in the 400 block of West Yosemite Avenue after he noticed the driver, Daniel Ortega, 31, talking on his cell phone.

Ortega could not produce a driver’s license and was taken out of the car and searched.  Officers also patted down the passenger Miguel Quintoa-Leon, 21, after they removed him from the vehicle – surprised with what they found.

Officer Danipour said he was searching the man when he asked him if he had anything sharp on his person that would stick him.  As the man answered that he didn’t, the officer was standing behind him and running his hands across the subject’s belt line.  He came in contact with the butt of a hand gun – a .22 caliber High Standard that was fully loaded with nine rounds.

Danipour said that Quintoa-Leon is a known member of a Norteno gang.

He was arrested and booked on several charges including being a felon in possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm with the serial numbers altered, possession of a concealed loaded  firearm in a vehicle,  possession of stolen property, and being a gang member in possession of a firearm.

He is being held at the San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp in lieu of $670,000 bail.  His court date is set for today in the Manteca Branch of San Joaquin County Superior Court.

The driver was cited and released for driving without a license and his Mercedes was towed by officers.
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