ST. GEORGE — When police stopped the driver of a vehicle for suspicion of driving under the influence Saturday night in Mesquite, Nevada, officers located three fully loaded firearms in the possession of two convicted felons and a foot pursuit ensued.
At approximately 9 p.m. Saturday, a patrol officer observed a vehicle unable to maintain its lane in traffic. The officer conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle to investigate the driver for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to a statement issued by the Mesquite Police Department Monday.
Upon speaking with the occupants inside the vehicle, the officer learned the driver – identified as Landon Leavitt, 36, of Littlefield, Arizona – and his passenger – Christopher Michael Mora, 41, of Mesquite – were listed as convicted felons, the police department said.
While investigating the possible DUI, the officer requested a narcotics K-9 to respond to the scene, police said. When the K-9 was deployed around the vehicle, the drug sniffing dog alerted to the presence of illegal drugs inside the vehicle.
“A subsequent search of the vehicle yielded an open container of alcohol which the driver had been drinking,” according to the police statement, “and multiple items of drug paraphernalia which had been used at some point for ingesting heroin and cocaine.”
According to police, officers also located a fully loaded .38-caliber revolver, a fully loaded .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle and a fully loaded 9mm semiautomatic handgun inside the vehicle.
After authorities had located the firearms and drug paraphernalia, Leavitt attempted to flee from police officers by running across traffic in the dark and into a field, according to the police department.
However, after a short foot pursuit, officers were able to catch Leavitt and safely take him into custody.
Leavitt was arrested and charged with three felony counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, along with charges of resisting arrest, obstructing a public servant, possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to maintain a travel lane, no vehicle insurance and having open container of alcohol in a vehicle.
Mora was arrested and charged with one felony count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
A juvenile inside the vehicle at the time of the stop was released to a guardian, police said.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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