CHP stops reported reckless driver; arrests him on a number of charges

A Chester resident, who was originally reported for reckless driving, was arrested after being found to be driving on a suspended license, being a felon in possession of a handgun with ammo, and being in possession of meth, a meth pipe and 30 fake $50 bills.

A CHP Officer was advised by dispatch of a reckless driver driving a black Pontiac GTO with paper plates on US-395 near South Constantia on July 12 at approx. 6:20 p.m. A vehicle matching the description was observed and stopped on Highway 395 south of Flux Road.

Upon contact with the driver (identified as Damion Jay Phillips, 42, of Chester) the officer noticed the steering column was stripped and there wasn’t a key in the ignition. Through further questioning, it was determined that Phillip’s California driver license was suspended. Upon further investigation, a clear pipe with black and white residue (commonly used for methamphetamine) was located between the center console and passenger seat. Phillips was asked to exit the vehicle.

Prior to exiting the vehicle, Phillips reached with his right hand down toward the bottom of the driver’s seat before hesitantly exiting the vehicle. Once out of the vehicle he was given a pat search for weapons, placed under arrest for driving with a suspended license, a misdemeanor, and placed in the right front of the patrol vehicle while the officer conducted a search of the vehicle.

While searching the vehicle, the officer located a handgun with a full magazine and one in the chamber on the floorboard under the driver’s seat. A criminal history returned indicating Phillips was a felon. It is a violation for a felon to be in possession of a concealed firearm.

While conducting a more thorough search, a clear baggy was located in Phillips left jean pocket with a crystalline substance that appeared to be methamphetamine. Phillips was booked into Lassen County Jail for several violations. Bail was set at $35,000. Phillips was released on bail July 13.

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