Zelienople police arrested Rio Darnell Gilchrist, 27, of Sharon, Mercer County, on a pair of felony charges after the vehicle in which he was riding was stopped about 8:40 p.m. Sunday on Route 19 near the Bilo Gas- N-Go store.
A stolen gun and nearly 2½ ounces of marijuana were seized during the traffic stop police said in an interview.
Officer Sean Adomaitis was working a roving patrol for the Butler County DUI Task Force, when he noticed a sport utility vehicle turn slowly into the Bilo parking lot without signaling.
The officer said he approached the vehicle and noticed an “extremely strong odor” of marijuana coming from the vehicle.
Gilchrist, who was riding in the back seat, was taken out and the driver gave her consent to search the vehicle.
In the back pocket of the seat, directly in front of the defendant, was a green Crown Royal bag, police said. The bag contained a loaded Ruger .380-caliber pistol and a box of ammunition.
Sue Haggerty arraigned Gilchrist on felony and misdemeanor drug possession, and felony charges of receiving stolen property and carrying a firearm without a concealed carry license. He was placed in Butler County Prison on $15,000 bail.