Delaware State Police troopers investigating a report of drug use Sunday in Meadowbrook Acres seized a loaded gun during a pat-down search, said division spokesman Master Cpl. Gary Fournier.
The incident happened at about 1:15 p.m. April 26 as troopers were sent to the area of the 400 block of Lambert Drive, Meadowbrook Acres, to investigates a report of individuals using drugs, Fournier said. Troopers contacted a half-dozen people in the driveway of the reported address and began questioning them about the odor of burnt marijuana, but at one point, a man later identified as Stephen Wheeler, 21 of Dover, started to walk away.
He was quickly detained and a pat-down search was conducted. As the trooper began to check the waistline of Wheeler’s pants, a loaded 9 mm pistol came loose and fell to the ground, partially sticking out from the bottom of Wheeler’s pants leg.
A computer check showed the weapon had been reported stolen, along with a box of ammunition, on Jan. a home in the 3000 block of Irish Hill Road, Magnolia.
Wheeler was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, and receiving a stolen firearm. After arraignment, he was jailed at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, on a $12,000 secured bond.