When police in Ramsey, Minnesota, pulled over a swerving van early Tuesday morning, they didn’t realize the stop would be anything but routine.
Officers say they noticed a strong smell of burned marijuana inside the vehicle, which a pregnant woman was driving.
Also inside the car: seven kids, five of whom were age 5 or younger. The five youngest kids were sleeping with packing tape over their mouths ― which one of the older kids said was because they were playing with the tape. The youngest, a one-year-old, wasn’t properly buckled into the booster seat, according to the arrest report.
During a search of the van, officers say they discovered “a loaded handgun magazine on the floor directly behind the driver’s seat,” the report said. A Taurus .40 caliber handgun was also near the feet of several of the children.
Oh, and the van itself? A plate check showed it was reported stolen out of Missouri, according to the police report.
Officers questioned an adult male sitting in the passenger seat, who was later identified as Deszion Marquese Wraggs, 26.
According to the report, Wraggs allegedly told police “the handgun was his and that he had placed it under the seat.” The suspect also allegedly admitted he had no case for the gun nor a firearm permit. It also states Wraggs said he had “rented the vehicle for a ‘few days’ about a month ago” but doubted there was “any money left on the credit card” used to rent the van.
Wraggs is the father of all the children, according to police.
An ambulance was called to the scene to transport the pregnant driver to the hospital, after she claimed to be going into labor, according to the Pioneer Press.
Wraggs has been charged with felony theft of a motor vehicle and misdemeanor child neglect, according to the police report.
Ramsey Police Chief Jeff Katers told the Pioneer Press on Thursday that the woman did not give birth and was not in custody. He also said she might face charges.
There was a third adult in the van who was not charged with any crimes, he said.
After it was determined the children were not in any immediate danger, they were released to family members, but the case has been referred to Anoka County Child Protection.
Katers told the paper: “It’s kind of a weird, bizarre case.”