Las Cruces Man Charged with Child Abuse after Loaded Gun Found in Child’s Car Seat

A motorist suspected of carrying a loaded handgun in his infant’s car seat has been charged with child abuse.

Thomas Adrian Brown, 22, of the 1800 block of Sexton Street, is charged with a third-degree felony count of child abuse and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, a fourth-degree felony.

On Aug. 9, a Las Cruces Police officer pulled traffic on a 2001 Oldsmobile that failed to maintain traffic lanes. Before the vehicle came to a stop, the officer observed the driver moving around in his seat and ducking down several times.

The vehicle came to a stop near Lohman Avenue and Nacho Drive. The officer quickly learned that the driver, identified as Brown, did not have a valid driver’s license, insurance or registration for the vehicle.

Brown was asked to exit the vehicle and was allowed to call for a ride since the vehicle was going to be towed. As a relative removed Brown’s 1-year-old son from his car seat, a fully loaded 9mm handgun fell from the infant’s seat. Investigators determined that the handgun did not belong to the relative and was likely placed in the child’s car seat prior to the traffic stop.

A criminal history of Brown was obtained and investigators learned that was convicted of a felony in 2015. In New Mexico it is illegal to receive, transport or possess a firearm for 10 years following service of a felony conviction.

Brown was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he is initially being held without bond.

Information from Las Cruces Police