Originally Published: July 11, 2012 9:50 p.m.
Prescott police arrested two men Sunday on weapon possession and drug charges after officers found marijuana in one man's pocket, meth in a backpack, and a handgun hidden behind a retaining wall outside a store. A third suspect, a woman, was released pending further review of her involvement.
An officer booked Justin Richard Nielsen, 31, of Chandler, into the Yavapai County Jail on felony charges of possession of dangerous drugs for sale, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm by a prohibited possessor, possession of a firearm during a felony drug offense and third degree burglary.
Thomas Hall, 31, of Gilbert, was booked into jail on felony charges of possession of marijuana, possession of a firearm by a prohibited possessor, possession a weapon during a felony drug offense, possession of prescription-only drugs, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
At 9 a.m., an officer answered a call about an intoxicated man who dropped a handgun on the ground at a store in the 1200 block of Gail Gardner Way. He then found Hall walking on the sidewalk near the parking lot.
When the officer asked if Hall had been in the store with another man carrying a gun, Hall acted nervous, so the officer searched him, found no weapons, but he did find marijuana, a lighter, and a metal container containing multiple prescription pills.
Another officer found a 9mm semi-automatic fully loaded handgun behind a retaining wall about 100 feet from Hall, and a different officer detained Nielsen and a woman.
Hall told the officer that Nielsen was in the store when his gun fell out of the holster, that Nielsen "freaked out" and asked Hall to take the gun, which Hall put behind the retaining wall outside the store, according to the police report.
Hall allegedly admitted to being a prohibited possessor and the woman told officers there were pills and syringes in the car.
Officers found a black backpack in the rear seat with nine used syringes with a brown residue inside, a prescription pill bottle with Nielsen's name on it, and a white plastic bag with 8.5 grams of a white crystal substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the police report. Near the backpack was a lighter and a digital scale with a white crystal residue.