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Gun Found In Case Of Frozen Ribs At N.M. Grocery Store

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File photo of pistols available for sale at a store.  (credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

File photo of pistols available for sale at a store. (credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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ROSWELL, N.M. (CBS Houston/AP) — New Mexico authorities say they’re puzzled by what turned up in a package of meat at a Roswell grocery store.

A worker at Albertsons opened a case of frozen ribs Wednesday and found a handgun and ammunition packed with the meat.

Roswell police Sgt. Jim Preston tells Albuquerque television station KRQE that it would be speculation to say how it got there.

“We could speculate on a lot of things,” Preston told the station. “It could have been someone just dropped it there, or it could have been something that someone put in there trying to hid it for 100 different reasons.”

Authorities have some clues.

A police report shows that the meat came from the Swift Packing Plant in Greeley, Colo., and is marked with the date June 8, 2011.

Greeley police say they’re reviewing cases to see if the gun was used in any crimes.

Authorities say the semi-automatic Rock Island Armory .38 Super had not been reported stolen.

According to the station, the pistol was cleaned off before police were notified.

“If we would have been notified while it was still in the box and no one would have touched it, there could have possibly been some forensic evident that we could have actually looked into,” Preston added to KRQE-TV.

A firearms trace could take weeks.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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