A police officer’s hunch and his a subsequent search of a car yielded weapons, drugs and cash in downtown Nanaimo last month.
According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, the officer became suspicious at 10 a.m. on Nov. 21 when he saw a “suspicious-looking vehicle” circling the downtown area. The vehicle was stopped on Victoria Crescent and while approaching the car, the officer saw two large knives on the back seat and a large bundle of money sticking out of the driver’s pocket.
When identified, it was learned the 46-year-old driver had an outstanding warrant for break-and-enter and uttering threats, and he was subsequently arrested.
“A search of his clothing found several grams of suspected fentanyl and methamphetamine and the $700 in Canadian currency,” the press release said. “In addition to the drugs already found, a further search in the Nanaimo cell block resulted in 50 jeweller bags of suspected methamphetamine found secreted in the suspect’s underwear.”
A black replica Beretta CO2 firearm was also found under the front seat of the vehicle, which was of concern, as it was easily within reach of the driver and thankfully it didn’t come into play, said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.
RCMP officers occasionally come across people with replica firearms and it is sometimes hard for them to discern if the weapons are real or not, O’Brien said in the press release.
“An authentic looking replica firearm will always be treated as real and may tragically result in real-life consequences,” he said.
The driver was released unconditionally while the investigation continues and he could face charges of possession of a controlled substance. There will be no charges resulting from the seizure of the replica firearm or knives, the press release said.
In addition, the suspect vehicle’s tires had “virtually no tread,” was towed and won’t be allowed back on the road until such time as they are replaced with road-worthy tires, said the press release.