During a vehicle check on the weekend, the Nanaimo RCMP seized several drugs, cash and a replica firearm from a driver who turned out to have an outstanding arrest warrant.
According to police, a Nanaimo Mountie noticed a “suspicious-looking” car repeatedly circling the downtown core on Saturday, Nov. 21 just before 10 a.m.
Following his hunch, the officer pulled the car over on Victoria Crescent and immediately noticed two large knives lying on the back seat and a bulging wad of money sticking out of the driver’s pocket.
Once identified, the 46-year-old driver was found to have an outstanding arrest warrant for Break and Enter and Uttering Threats.
The officer searched his clothing and found several grams of what the RCMP suspects to be fentanyl and methamphetamine, as well as $700 cash.
The driver was immediately arrested.
Once in the Nanaimo cell block, a further search found 50 jeweller bags of suspected methamphetamine hidden in the suspect’s underwear.
The last item of note found in the car was a black replica Beretta CO2 firearm stuffed under the front seat, said police.
“The firearm was easily within reach of the driver. Thankfully it did not come into play during this vehicle check. This was an excellent pro-active vehicle stop by a front line officer, who acted on his police instincts and it paid off,” said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.
Although it was a fake firearm, police say the threat needs to be taken seriously.
“Needless to say, police officers are not afforded the time to discern if a firearm is real or not. An authentic-looking replica firearm will always be treated as real and may tragically result in real-life consequences,” said O’Brien.
On top of it all, the vehicle was found to be unsafe for road use after the officer noticed the tires had “virtually no tread.”
Police say the car was towed and will not be allowed back on the road until it is fitted with roadworthy tires.
The driver was later released unconditionally while the investigation continues, said the RCMP.
According to police, the man potentially faces charges of possession of a controlled substance, but there will be no charges resulting from the seizure of the replica firearm or knives.