Chester man arrested after traffic stop

Damion Jay Phillips, 42, of Chester, was arrested about 6:35 p.m. Sunday, July 12 on Highway 395 south of Flux Road following a traffic stop.

According to a statement from the California Highway Patrol, evidence seized included a “handgun with ammo, meth, meth pipe and 30 ‘not real’ $50 bills.”

Bail was set at $35,000, and Phillips was released the day after his arrest.

According to the statement a CHP officer was advised of a reckless driver driving a black Pontiac GTO with paper plates on Highway 395 near South Constantia about 6:20 p.m. Sunday, July 12. A vehicle matching the description was observed and an enforcement stop was initiated US-395 south of Flux Road.

Upon contact of the driver, 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 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 towards 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 showing 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 incident to arrest, 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 and released on bail July 13.