A routine traffic stop last week led to the arrest of a Chelsea man who had been on the run from immigration officials for 23 years.
arrested Jose Mejia, 45, of 13 Beacon Place #2, Chelsea on March 22 after an unregistered truck in which he was a passenger was pulled over, according to Wellesley Police records clerk Sue Morse.
Det. Christopher Connelly was on routine patrol on Washington Street in the early afternoon when he saw the truck, which had a broken brake light. Connelly ran a check of the license plate, which showed the registration had been suspended, according to Morse.
Upon questioning the driver, Connelly checked Mejia’s license as well. Mejia was the owner of the vehicle, which turned out to be unregistered, according to documents.
Connelly also saw Mejia throw out the car window a bag containing a white powdery substance, which was determined to be cocaine, Morse said.
Connelly removed Mejia from the car and placed him in cuffs, according to Morse. Connelly reportedly also found a bag of marijuana on Mejia.
Mejia was fingerprinted at Wellesley Police Station, and his information was sent to the FBI, which informed Wellesley Police Mejia was wanted by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement for immigration violations.
“Mejia had been on the run for nearly 23 years,” Morse said.
Officials from ICE took Mejia into custody.