Richmond police search in Iron Triangle last week leads to pistol discovery

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Occupants of a vehicle that smelled strongly of marijuana in the Iron Triangle last week successfully tossed a gun from their car before police pulled them over — but not its loaded magazine — an oversight that ultimately led to an arrest.

The incident unfolded about 11 a.m. on Oct 10 in the 100 block of 12th Street, when an officer and his police dog partner spotted the vehicle committing a traffic violation, police Lt. Felix Tan said.

The driver sped off before the officer could turn on his lights to pull the vehicle over. The car made a couple quick turns onto different streets before the officer finally caught up and pulled it over, Tan said.

The officer reported a strong marijuana odor coming from the car, Tan said. A search uncovered a magazine of a gun loaded with .380 caliber bullets, but no gun was found.

Officers used that bit of evidence to good use: They traced the path the car made when it drove away from the officer initially and found a semi-automatic pistol along the route.

“As it turns out, the magazine found in the car was for that particular pistol, and the bullets all matched,” Tan said. “One of the two occupants of the car confessed to owning the firearm and he was booked for firearms related violations.”

Tan said the department is “proud of our officers’ tactics and investigative skills that led to the discovery of a loaded gun.”

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