By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Escambia County, Fla. authorities arrested a pair of Atmore men recently, charging each of them with possession of concealed firearms after a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun were found inside a vehicle that was stopped for speeding.
ECSO reports show that the arrests came after a deputy, using radar, clocked a 2022 Kia Stinger that was moving at more than 70 mph in a 45-mph zone near the intersection of Pensacola Boulevard and Interstate 10, in Pensacola.
Both the driver, 25-year-old Joshua Jamaya Hill, and the passenger, 21-year-old Bernard Lenard Durham, provided a driver’s license when asked by the deputy, but a computer check revealed that Hill’s license had expired and had been suspended.
According to reports, the county officer asked if the pair had any weapons or anything else that “could get them in trouble,” to which they answered that they did not.
After a K9 officer arrived on the scene and reportedly “alerted” on the vehicle, the deputy conducted a “probably cause” search and discovered that the duo had not been truthful in their response.
Found hidden under a jacket next to the vehicle’s console was a semi-automatic rifle, similar to an AR-15, which had one bullet in the chamber and 100 more rounds of ammo in its magazine. Also discovered was a 9 mm Glock handgun that was in the console. Reports show there were no rounds in the gun’s chamber but nine rounds in its magazine.
Further searching revealed a bag containing about half an ounce of marijuana under the driver’s seat and a 30-round magazine for the rifle under the passenger’s seat.
Hill is charged with one count each of possession of a concealed weapon, a felony, and misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Durham is charged with one count of possession of a concealed weapon.
Escambia County Jail records show both men were released from facility later that day on bonds of $3,000 (Hill) and $2,500 (Durham).