A loaded Hi-Point 9mm semi-automatic handgun and drugs were discovered Saturday inside of a vehicle occupied by two suspicious men parked in front of a closed Mitchell Road business.
At 3:25 a.m. Officer Carlos Villalobos was on patrol when he saw a white Chevy Silverado parked in front of Premiere Car Wash, 3908 Mitchell Road, which was closed. Sitting inside the truck were two men. As the patrol car pulled up, the officer heard the driver start the engine as if to leave.
Because the passenger was on searchable probation, Officer Villalobos announced that he was going to do a probation search of the vehicle and asked the driver, Joseph Chapman, 34 of Modesto, to step out. Chapman remained seated, however, and reached for an item concealed between the driver's seat and vehicle, said Ceres Police Department spokesman Lt. Chris Perry. Officer Villalobos opened the door to help the driver out when Chapman produced a black handgun. With the help of Officer Eric Gallegos, the officers took Chapman to ground and as they pulled him out the gun fell onto the floorboard of the truck. Lt. Perry said the gun, which was registered to Chapman's wife, was loaded with one round in the chamber.
A search turned up a small amount of methamphetamine and a pipe used for smoking meth located in the pocket of the driver's side door.
Chapman was arrested and charged with carrying a loaded concealed weapon, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.