Trooper discovers arsenal during traffic stop


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Mark Tyson
March 16, 2004, 03:11 PM
http://www.policeone.com/policeone/frontend/parser.cfm?object=News&operation=full_newsline&id=81958

Trooper discovers arsenal during traffic stop
03/15/2004

Trooper discovers arsenal during traffic stop

07:30 PM PST on Monday, March 15, 2004


By MIMI JUNG / KING 5 News



TACOMA, Wash. – Troopers stopped a van for a cracked windshield, but that led them to find a lot more than they ever expected.

Sunday afternoon, Washington State Patrol troopers pulled over a van in Spanaway, Wash. and found it loaded with a small arsenal of weapons and ammunition.

Trooper Sean Meenan stopped the van for a cracked windshield, but immediately sensed the four people inside had something to hide.

"Something wasn't right," he said. "Just based on their nervousness, I felt they may have been deceptive, so I asked them the question: Are there any weapons in the car?" said Meenan.

KING 5 TV, Seattle WA

Troopers found four assault rifles, pistols, knives, camouflage clothing, ski masks, tons of ammunition and drug paraphernalia.
It turned out weapons and ammunition were hidden in the back along with drug paraphernalia and methamphatamine-making products.

The evidence was startling: four assault rifles, pistols, knives, camouflage clothing, ski masks and tons of ammunition.

"A normal person wouldn't have a magazine of this sort," said WSP trooper Johnny Alexander. "It's basically used for tactical type of operation."

The most disturbing piece of evidence was a video tape showing the suspects during target practice.

"What we found to be very disturbing was that they somehow had used plaster to construct human heads," and the video showed them shooting at them, Alexander said.

The Washington State Patrol does not know if the weapons were intended for target practice or something more sinister.

Investigators said they will be checking with other agencies and the Violent Crimes Unit in Pierce County to see if the suspects were involved in other crimes.

Three of the four people in the van were arrested. The 27-year-old male driver and a 23-year-old male passenger, both from Tacoma and both convicted felons, were arrested for investigation of possession of a stolen firearm and being felons in possession of firearms. Alexander says a 9mm Ruger handgun found in the van was stolen.

Alexander said the suspects have a lengthy list of convictions, ranging from domestic violence to robbery, and from auto theft to possession of stolen property.

A 23-year-old Tacoma woman was arrested for misdemeanor obstruction.

The fourth person in the van, also a woman, was not arrested.

Alexander said the suspects told investigators they had the guns and other items simply for target practice, but the patrol continues to investigate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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abaddon
March 16, 2004, 03:16 PM
That's just a few miles from my parent's house! But I wasn't surprised, Spanaway's not the best neighborhood.

I'm glad they caught them, but I didn't like his line "A normal person wouldn't have a magazine of this sort".

Jeff

treeprof
March 16, 2004, 03:21 PM
"A normal person wouldn't have a magazine of this sort," said WSP trooper Johnny Alexander. "It's basically used for tactical type of operation."

:confused: Meaning notorious "hi cap mags to feed bullet hoses", I guess, but I didn't see mags mentioned otherwise. True, tho, that a normal person wouldn't have "a" mag - they'd have several.

A Ruger handgun, I notice. As Makers of Firearms for Responsible Citizens, the occupants musta been heading out for some post-meth target practice after all.

45Hoop
March 16, 2004, 03:40 PM
While they probably were not upstanding citizens, I could not help but notice "tons of ammo". How do you carry tons of ammo in a paasenger van. :scrutiny:

Diggler
March 16, 2004, 03:42 PM
I'm glad that they got these felons off the streets since they aren't supposed to have guns (or make drugs) in the first place, but do you think that the police are SO concerned about our safety that they pull us over for a cracked windshield? I mean, come on, pull people over for speeding, or running stoplights, or whatever but to pull someone over for a cracked windshield is just overexertion of power IMHO.

Note that the story didn't say 'broken' windshield, which would have caused an unsafe visibility issue.

kbr80
March 16, 2004, 03:51 PM
"A normal person wouldn't have a magazine of this sort," said WSP trooper Johnny Alexander. "It's basically used for tactical type of operation."


a statement like that is one of several reasons I do not trust LEO's.
Glad to know that if a cop stops me, I am already guilty because My glock hold 17 rounds, for a tactical situation.

A side note, glad those people are off the streets.

Greg L
March 16, 2004, 03:52 PM
Sounds like me heading out for a weekend of camping & plinking (minus the drug stuff & plaster skulls :uhoh: )

strambo
March 16, 2004, 03:58 PM
sensed the four people inside had something to hide

Is that PC for a search? I'm glad scumbags are stupid and they got these guys...nevertheless, if it was me...Officer:"Do you know you have a cracked windshield?" Me: "Yes, I plan on getting it replaced" Officer:"Can we search your vehicle?" Me:"Why? The cracked windshield is in plain view, I see no reason to search my vehicle" Officer: "It's for our safety, we think you might have weapons" Me: "Well, I don't... is that all?"

Of course officers usually don't ask to search good citizens vehicles 'cause nothing about them sets off their Spidey senses...so I guess I'm glad the criminals are dumb and say yes, It doesn't hurt to ask! :D

Standing Wolf
March 16, 2004, 03:59 PM
A normal person wouldn't have a magazine of this sort...

I'm so glad the cops are definity normality for us. Saves us all the trouble of doing our own thinking.

Nighthawk
March 16, 2004, 04:03 PM
Consider the source. According to the AP, a Ruger 10/22 could be considered an assault rifle. A ski mask in Washington state at this time of year isn't abnormal. Neither would camoflouge jackets--many people wear hunting jackets for winter coats. The only thing out of the ordinary is the drug parephenalia, which whould have been the focus of the article in the first place, that and the fact that these felons were illegally in possess of otherwise legal firearms.

El Tejon
March 16, 2004, 04:07 PM
Guess I'm not "normal"!:uhoh: Nice to have the po-po define my RKBA. Maybe they will decide what books and religions "normal" people should be allowed to have?

Did you dose today?

fix
March 16, 2004, 04:16 PM
We now have a clear definition of what constitutes an arsenal. 4 people. 4 rifles. Looks like it only takes one gun. I sure hope that standard only applies to felons. :uhoh:

RustyHammer
March 16, 2004, 04:18 PM
That's one for the good guys. Fellons with guns ... just a matter of time.

DMK
March 16, 2004, 04:23 PM
The evidence was startling: four assault rifles, pistols, knives, camouflage clothing, ski masks and tons of ammunition.

"A normal person wouldn't have a magazine of this sort," said WSP trooper Johnny Alexander. "It's basically used for tactical type of operation."
Aside from the cammo and ski masks, I carry more than this to the range with me and that's not even including what a friend might have if I take somebody with me.

Except of course that I don't have any Class III Select Fire weapons so my ARs, AKs, and FALs aren't "Assault Rifles". I kinda doubt their's were either. :rolleyes:

Still even though AP is clueless and a puppet of the VPC, the gist of the story is good and makes me happy. Good guys - 1 Bad Guys - 0

P95Carry
March 16, 2004, 04:46 PM
Probably is good the punks were found ...... perhaps they were going shooting paper .. perhaps not, but the drug aspect does make it seem less than innocent. The method of capture however? Well not so sure .. there again, how much can be trusted from a media report.

Oh and ... the fave words again ''assault'' ...... and the dreaded ''arsenal'' ... which should be instead ''armory'' if they absolutely have to hype things up ...... which they usually do.:rolleyes:

Wonder what the headlines would have been last Sunday if I had been stopped .. when I drove down to a shoot in MD? If they had an ''arsenal'' .. I dread to think what my ''payload'' would have been called!:p

Ala Dan
March 16, 2004, 04:57 PM
Good "heads up" by the trooper's; probably saved
some innocent lives! ;) :D

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

Ironbarr
March 16, 2004, 05:09 PM
You really ventured into no-man's land for a shoot?

Lucky you got out.

-Andy

KaceCoyote
March 16, 2004, 05:26 PM
Its my understanding, from a LEO I knew through a friend that if a Cop wants to search your car. He will sit in his cruiser for -however- long it takes to figure out how to get a peek. Sides guys, if these boys are sittin in a van whats to keep mister Po-po from usin his maglite and lookin through a window. I would -assume- meth equipment is atleast somewhat distinct. I've also heard it smells one way or the other, and people who spend much time around it pick up the scent. the AP is full've idiots so I'd rather we not judge the situations as written by a news organization run by gun grabbing idiots. Who knows, maybe the plates were flagged or he had priors or somone else in the van had priors..

P95Carry
March 16, 2004, 05:33 PM
You really ventured into no-man's land for a shoot? Yepp!! Twice inside two months Andy .. and ''escaped'' both times!:D

Mind you .. it really sucks having to discard my carry piece when I cross state line ... HATE it ... !! But on return leg, once back in PA ... oh the joy, as the piece is reinstated rightfully on my hip. Perhaps makes me appreciate it all the more!:)

sturmruger
March 16, 2004, 05:41 PM
They sound like scum to me. I am sure the cops alarms were going off big time. I don't know what it is about cops, but they can smell a lie coming. When I was younger and not as bright I tried lieing my way out of a few situations. They figured it out so fast I don't know why I didn't start off with the truth. Much wiser now, I hope. Any talking I do with cops will be kept to a minimum. Especially when it comes to a defensive shooting situation.

rock jock
March 16, 2004, 05:45 PM
"A normal person wouldn't have a magazine of this sort," said WSP trooper Johnny Alexander. "It's basically used for tactical type of operation."
Yes, and a "normal" LEO wouldn't make a statement like that. They are basically made by JBTs.

fix
March 16, 2004, 05:46 PM
I don't know what it is about cops, but they can smell a lie coming.

Being lied to approximately 479 times a day probably helps to calibrate their BS meter.

DorGunR
March 16, 2004, 05:58 PM
You really ventured into no-man's land for a shoot?

Don't worry Ironbarr .......P95Carry was among friends down here.:D

Carlos Cabeza
March 16, 2004, 05:59 PM
4 assault rifles and tons ( let's say 10 GI ammo boxes ) of ammunition ? How many of us exceed this on a trip to the range ? I do but that's only because I don't like to take EVERYTHING ! :D Might have to pare it down a bit next trip...........................NAH !!!!!!!:rolleyes:

Ed Brunner
March 16, 2004, 06:15 PM
Just how many tons of ammo did they have???

Hkmp5sd
March 16, 2004, 06:23 PM
I thought Skunk was the only one with "tactical" magazines.:)

Navy joe
March 16, 2004, 06:29 PM
Apparently if I get stopped on the way to the range you guys will be the first to know. Last weekend was tame, a M-1A, Garand, 4-5 pistols, evel magazines, and over 1K of ammo. Hate to see what would happen if I took some guns.

another okie
March 16, 2004, 06:30 PM
"Drug paraphenalia and meth making equipment" could easily be prosecutor-speak for a book on the history of marijuana and a package of decongestants.

Or maybe they had a whole mobile meth lab in the car, which is pretty common around here.

But the article makes it hard to tell.

admar2
March 16, 2004, 06:35 PM
that musta been one heavy duty van to haul around "tons" of ammunition.


:banghead:

Hkmp5sd
March 16, 2004, 06:41 PM
http://www.olegvolk.net/newphotos/tn/wish-you-were-here.jpg

Ironbarr
March 16, 2004, 06:41 PM
I know that's true, but how about that "to-and-fro". Bet one of those state badgerinos would love to caress a mess of otherwise untouchable toys. I know I would - want to caress, that is.

Can't afford any more'n I got... but I find myself thinking real romantically about a small 870 and an M-1 milsurp.

Please don't ask me why.

Wonder if I could trade a Browning Mod 5 and a Win .410 for romance?

-Andy

Mark Tyson
March 16, 2004, 06:42 PM
Now that's what I call a well-regulated militia!

azrael
March 16, 2004, 06:45 PM
HEYYYYYY!!!!! the woman holding the M1A has longer hair than me!!!!GRRRRRRRRRRR:fire:

Steve in PA
March 16, 2004, 06:46 PM
"tons of ammo" was not meant literally :rolleyes:

Ironbarr
March 16, 2004, 06:48 PM
And a band of brothers and sisters to boot.

Thanks.

Selfdfenz
March 16, 2004, 06:56 PM
Re the family photo

:D

S-

PS-I thought I knew it all but what are the funny net thingys in the corners of that target hanging on the wall behind everyone?
If I didn't know better I'd say it almost look like it's made outa wood..... Weird.

S-

Diggler
March 16, 2004, 07:07 PM
That's some kind of game board.. I forget what kind. My uncle has one.

Hkmp5sd
March 16, 2004, 07:12 PM
It's a Carrom board.

greyhound
March 16, 2004, 07:44 PM
Alexander said the suspects have a lengthy list of convictions, ranging from domestic violence to robbery, and from auto theft to possession of stolen property.

Yet once again, the main focus is the guns, not the scumbags. Grrr.:banghead:

QuarterBoreGunner
March 16, 2004, 07:48 PM
Great picture... Why is everyone pointing up? Must be an inside joke...

Dr.Rob
March 16, 2004, 09:03 PM
I've been guilty of carry more guns than that before.







A LOT more. :uhoh: :scrutiny:


Bet a lot of us have.

Mannlicher
March 16, 2004, 09:22 PM
well golly, I guess its a good thing that I was not stopped on the way to the Trail Glades range last weekend. What the cops found on that traffic stop was not an arsenal, what I had in the pick up WAS. :D
oh, and I video tape myself shooting too, and I use targets that resemble human bodys, and I have evil magazines.........

Like about 95% of the fine folks here. Only thing missing in my truck, was the drug stuff, but heck, not everyone that has guns is a criminal. :fire:

WhoKnowsWho
March 16, 2004, 09:51 PM
Drugs? Ah, who cares, they have legal high cap magazines, they must be bad...

Holy cow! :what:

abaddon
March 17, 2004, 11:23 AM
There was one stolen gun, there were also prior convictions which probably means they weren't allowed to have guns in the first place. As for the ski mask being normal in Washington State this time of year it's not. Maybe these factors influenced the thinking on the part of the reporter that it was an 'arsenal'.

Jeff

Tamara
March 17, 2004, 11:33 AM
I remember driving home from a day of shooting with a friend in his car, which we had discovered had a burnt-out headlight. We were a little worried, because one of the jurisdictions we had to pass through on our route homeward was noted for, um, enthusiastic collection of coinage for the city coffers via zealous traffic law enforcement. We were kinda hoping that a little Pontiac LeMans with rifles stacked like cordwood on the back seat floorboards and about a dozen cased handguns, plus the CCW's of the occupants, wouldn't seem too unusual to Officer Speed. :uhoh:

(We did not, however, have any meth lab equipment, stolen firearms, prior convictions, or any of the other more exciting paraphernalia of newsworthy traffic stops.)

FPrice
March 17, 2004, 11:52 AM
Shoot! (pun inteneded)

All the good smart-aleck remarks have already been used.

:mad:

The Real Hawkeye
March 17, 2004, 12:12 PM
About ten or fifteen years ago I was driving to the range, and had my AR-15 in the hatchback, covered with a blanket. There was road construction on the highway, and there were cones separating two lanes of the highway. I wasn't aware that it was a traffic violation to change lanes where there are those cones put out, and they were spread out quite a bit, so it was no trouble to switch lanes when my lane came nearly to a stop, and the other lane was moving a bit faster. I saw the cop there, but didn't know it was a violation (honestly), so I did it. He waved me over, and told me it was a violation to do that, and that I was getting a ticket. He looked in the back of my car, and I guess the car's movement caused the blanket to move off the AR a little, and he asked if I had (and these are the exact words he used) an Assault Weapon back there. I said, "No, it's an AR-15." He said, "A what?" I told him again. He told me to stay put, he'd have to call this one in. I waited while he went to his car and spoke to someone (I guess his supervisor) for about 15 minutes. He comes back and asks me why I have the rifle (no longer calling it an Assault Weapon), and I tell him I'm going to the range to shoot it. At that, he gave me my ticket, and that was that, but what a hastle! Good thing I didn't bring the number of various weapons I usually bring to the range.

fix
March 17, 2004, 12:17 PM
He comes back and asks me why I have the rifle

At that point I would be inclined to read him the riot act. Being somewhat ignorant of your rights is one thing, but persisting after apparently being educated by a supervisor is another matter entirely. But I suppose that would be cop bashing. :rolleyes:

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