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In Roswell, N.M., slab of ribs was packing heat -- with ammo

December 07, 2012|By John M. Glionna

New Mexico authorities have heard all the horror stories about unhealthy food additives, but they admit they've never seen anything as bizarre as this.

A worker unwrapping a case of frozen meat at an Albertsons grocery store in the town of Roswell this week discovered a handgun and ammunition packed alongside a slab of ribs.

"We've been baffled by this one," Roswell police spokeswoman Sabrina Morales told the Los Angeles Times. "We still are."

There are clues to the mystery: The semiautomatic Rock Island Armory .38 Super along with seven rounds of ammunition originated from a Swift packing plant in Greeley, Colo., and the date on the package is June 8, 2011.

Greeley police have joined the case, to interview workers at the plants in the area.

"We do know that the gun has not been reported stolen," Morales told The Times. "It could have been someone just dropped it there, or it could have been something that someone put it there trying to hide it for a lot of different reasons."

Roswell police said workers at the local store's meat department removed the gun from its package, possibly destroying fingerprints.

Authorities have entered the gun into the National Crime Information Center database and plan to conduct a federal firearms trace, which will track the weapon's serial number to the last place it was sold or documented.

That process could take weeks, Morales said.

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