A worker at a Roswell, New Mexico Albertson's grocery store was startled to find a loaded semi-automatic pistol and 7 rounds of ammunition in a case of frozen beef ribs on Thursday. According to NBC News, the supermarket employee quickly turned the weapon over to police.
Roswell Police Department spokesperson Sabrina Morales said, "The big cases of meat come in a box. When he opened it, he saw the firearm. It wasn't packaged inside with the meat, but it was in the same box."
The Rock Island Armory .38 super semi-automatic pistol's origins remain a mystery. The case of meat originated from a facility in Greeley, Colorado and was packed more than a year ago, on June 8, 2011. Adding to the difficulty of tracking the weapon, the Albertson's employee had cleaned the gun off before giving it to the police, obliterating any possible fingerprints.
When the gun's identifying information was entered into the National Crime Information Center database, it wasn't listed as having been reported stolen. Roswell police say that they have obtained all the information they can and have now handed the case over to police in Greeley.
Morales said that the case was the first of its kind for her department.
"You hear of people finding frogs in their salad or weird stuff like that, but never heard of this one," she said.
Watch the video, embedded via Roswell's KRQE News 13, below: