Police: Guns stolen form Worm Ranch recovered in traffic stop

A vehicle pulled over in the city raised suspicion and a search warrant later led to the alleged discovery of drugs and guns.


WALLA WALLA -- A traffic stop Wednesday has lead to the recovery of at least six of about 27 firearms taken during a recent burglary at a local tackle shop, police said.

An officer with the Walla Walla Police Department pulled over a vehicle near Sixth and Rees avenues about 7:30 p.m. because of a non-working light on the vehicle.

The city's K-9 officer, who arrived on scene, detected drugs in the vehicle and alerted the officers, said Tim Bennett, public information officer for the Walla Walla Police Department.

The driver apparently refused the officers access inside the vehicle, forcing officers to take possession of the vehicle while a search warrant was sought and processed, Bennett said.

The driver and a passenger of the vehicle were released, lacking probable cause to hold them while the search warrant was sought.

"There was no lawful way we could detain them while the search warrant was processed," Bennett said.

Once inside the vehicle, officers recovered cash, a moderate amount of methamphetamine, and eight firearms, Bennett said.

Among the firearms inside the vehicle was a loaded pistol found between the console and front passenger seat that was easily accessible by the vehicle's occupants, Bennett said.

At least six of the firearms have been linked to those taken from the Walla Walla Worm Ranch about Dec. 15, where 27 guns, including hand guns and rifles, were taken overnight in a coordinated break-in of the shop.

The Worm Ranch burglary remains under investigation by the Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office.

Maria P. Gonzalez can be reached at mariagonzalez@wwub.com or 526-8317. Check out her blog at blogs.ublabs.org/schoolhousemissives.


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