Evening Traffic Stop on Wawawai Road Leads Deputies to Guns, Drugs, Cash and Lands Two in Jail
Around 5pm on Wednesday afternoon deputies conducted a traffic stop near Wawawai County Park for a standard traffic violation. During the questioning of the driver, identified as 32yoa Melissa Estep of Kennewick WA, the deputy noted several inconsistencies with the information she was providing.
The vehicle, a rental car out of Spokane, was not rented under the drivers or passengers names, which was a concern for the deputy. After some additional questioning the deputy requested the rental agreement. At that time the deputy observed a small scale, similar to the kind used for weighing illegal narcotics, in the glovebox of the vehicle. While continuing with his stop, the deputy also observed a handgun under the passenger seat of vehicle. That passenger, 55yoa Simon Salinas of Pasco, WA was later determined to be a convicted felon.
Based on the information obtained during the initial traffic stop the deputy later applied for and was granted a search warrant, to search the vehicle for illegal drugs and firearms. During the execution of the search warrant, deputies located approximately one ounce of packaged methamphetamine, $5,700 dollars in US Currency and two loaded handguns, both of which were located under the seats of the Estep and Salinas.
Estep and Salinas were later booked into the Whitman County Jail on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Deliver and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. First appearances are scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Whitman County Superior Court.