JOHN DAY - When Oregon State Police Trooper Erich Timko pulled over a pickup on Highway 26 near eastbound milepost 141 at 2:17 p.m. on Friday, April 9, he observed the driver was not wearing a seatbelt. Little did he realize an extended investigation was about to begin.
Timko said when he stopped the truck and made contact with the driver, who was later identified as Justus Kane Watson, 27, from Monument, he noticed a dagger on the dashboard.
Watson was reportedly "abrasive" at the time he was stopped, and Timko said he asked if there were any more weapons in the vehicle.
Watson reportedly replied he had several knives, including a large "Pig Sticker" which was in a sheath on his belt.
Timko said he asked Watson to step out of the truck and proceeded to conduct an officer-safety pat down, removing the knives from the vehicle and from Watson's person.
At this time, Watson reportedly told Timko there was a .44 magnum pistol under the seat.
Timko reportedly asked Watson if he had a concealed weapon's permit and he replied he didn't, and Timko seized the weapon.
The passenger in Watson's vehicle was identified as Jeremiah Kish Collman, 25, from Albany, and a warrant check through OSP Dispatch indicated there was a felony warrant from Marion County on him and also restricted misdemeanor warrants from neighboring counties.
Timko also ran the serial number on the confiscated pistol and discovered that the gun was stolen.
Collman and Watson were taken into custody without incident with assistance from Grant County Undersheriff Jim McNellis and Deputy Todd McKinley.
Watson was lodged in the Grant County Jail on charges of first-degree theft and unlawful possession of a concealed handgun. He was also cited for failure to wear a seatbelt.
Collman was lodged in jail on the parole violation warrant from Marion County.
Timko said the investigation into the stolen handgun is continuing.