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Man arrested after police find a loaded gun, drugs and alcohol near almost-naked child in his car

<i>Bonneville County Jail/East Idaho News</i><br/>Gerald Richard Peto was arrested after police found a loaded gun
Lawrence, Nakia
Bonneville County Jail/East Idaho News
Gerald Richard Peto was arrested after police found a loaded gun

By Kaitlyn Hart

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    IDAHO FALLS, Idaho ( — A Hawaii man was arrested after police found a loaded gun, drugs, and unbuckled children in his car, one wearing almost no clothes.

Gerald Richard Peto, 60, was pulled over on I-15 on Monday, for going 65 mph in an 80 mph zone.

Idaho State Police said in reports that Peto was driving a Toyota 4Runner and was holding up traffic in the left lane.

After stopping the 4Runner, police observed two children laying down in the back seat and not wearing seat belts.

The officers identified the driver as Peto, and a female passenger as 54-year-old Tanya Kanoenana Pajimola.

Peto told officers that he and Pajimola were relatives of the children, and police were able to identify that the children were nine and four years old.

The four-year-old was reportedly not wearing any clothing other than a pair of underwear, even though court documents state it was approximately 30 degrees outside.

Police say that child otherwise “appeared to be healthy and energetic.”

A K-9 officer and his handler arrived, and the K-9 alerted officers that drugs were present in the car.

Peto admitted to officers that there was marijuana in the backseat, and a marijuana pipe in his jacket by the driver’s seat.

While officers were searching the car, Peto said he had “something to tell them.” He then admitted to having a gun in the car, and that he is not legally allowed to possess firearms.

Officers reportedly found a loaded Glock .22 caliber pistol in the back section of the car where the kids had been laying, along with two magazines, extra loose bullets in the case, a small jar of marijuana, and a half-open bottle of whiskey.

Police state that the gun also did not have a safety feature, and was “inside an easily accessible case with two plastic clips to open it.”

The gun was also reportedly “sitting in plain view at the top of an open bag in the back, right where the kids were laying down,” according to court documents.

Peto was then arrested and booked into the Bonneville County Jail.

He was charged with felony unlawful possession of a firearm, misdemeanor injury to a child, misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, and misdemeanor use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

Pajimola was cited and released for misdemeanor injury to a child.

Peto appeared in court on Tuesday, where his bond was set to $25,000. He posted bail and was released the same day.

He is expected to appear in court again for a preliminary hearing on April 18. If convicted, he could face up to 8 years in prison.

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