COLUMBIA - During a traffic stop Thursday night, Columbia police found a handgun in the car of a Columbia man. The gun belonged to a retired Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper.
Tremaine Bell, 28, was pulled over due to loud music coming from his vehicle on Austin Avenue near Garth Avenue, according to Captain Zim Schwartze of the Columbia Police Department. While arresting Bell for peace disturbance, officers spotted the loaded Model 60 Smith & Wesson revolver lying on the driver's side floorboard of Bell's car. A Missouri State Highway Patrol logo was engraved on the handgun.
The identity of the retired patrolman is not known, but the theft of the handgun occurred in November 2007 in Macon. Police obtained this information through the weapon's serial number, Schwartze said.
Bell was arrested Thursday on suspicion of possessing a concealable firearm as a felon. At the time of the arrest, he was on supervised probation for previous drug trafficking convictions.
Bell pleaded guilty to one count of distribution, delivery, manufacture or production of a controlled substance in Cole County in 2006. He pleaded guilty to two counts of the same offense in Audrain County in 2007.
Arresting officers were with the Street Crimes Unit, a section of the Columbia Police Department devoted to building cases for "career criminals" that was enacted on June 30.