Traffic stop leads to arrest on firearms charge

A 26-year-old Belfair man was arrested in a convenience store parking lot on Lund Avenue early Sunday when he made a quick move to rid himself of an illegally altered handgun, the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office reported.

The suspect's car was pulled over by a sheriff's deputy around midnight Saturday after he was spotted driving with his headlights off. After he was stopped in the 7-Eleven parking lot, the man failed to provide proof of insurance or a driver's license. He also produced a registration belonging to a different individual, claiming he had bought the car through a Craigslist ad a couple days before.

According to the deputy's report, the suspect was asked to step out of his car and when he stood up, he reached over his head and tried to remove his sweatshirt.

Feeling threatened, the sheriff's deputy grabbed the man's arm to stop the movement. The deputy then searched the suspect and found a handgun in the pocket of the sweatshirt. The handgun's serial number was filed off.

The suspect, who has a criminal history including arrests for theft, firearms and drug charges, was taken into custody. A passenger, who also had a history of drug use, was released after refusing to allow deputies to search her purse.

A later search of the vehicle found stolen property, most recently from a burglary occurring in October. The suspect is being held for carrying a concealed firearm with alterations to identifying marks and possession of stolen property, 2nd degree. Bail is set at $125,000.


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