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Columbia police arrest wanted felon after finding several guns in possession, police say

Columbia police said detectives from the Street Crimes and Vice Narcotics and Organized Crime units attempted to find a wanted man, Jeremy Gerlach, 35, of Kansas City, for an outstanding felony warrant Friday evening.

Police said during the investigation, detectives learned that Gerlach was in possession of firearms and has made threats to shoot/kill law enforcement officers.

Detectives found Gerlach and another man in a car parked at the Days Inn in the 900 block of I-70 Drive Southwest, according to a news release from the police department.

Police said the detectives parked their patrol vehicle behind the car and turned on their emergency lights. They said they saw both Gerlach and the passenger reaching around in the car.

Detectives started approaching the men on foot, but the car drove over a parking bumper and tried to flee the scene, police said. They said as other officers arrived in the area, Gerlach swerved to go around a police vehicle and crashed into a utility pole.

Police said that officers then started approaching the car on foot again, and noticed Gerlach and the passenger continue to reach around the vehicle.

A detective heard the engine rev and decided to use the patrol vehicle to close the gap between Gelrach’s car to prevent them from escaping and harming the officers on foot, police said.

Police said officers then gave Gerlach and the passenger commands to exit the car but they refused.

Officers saw Gerlach reach toward the center console and the passenger reach toward the driver’s side rear floorboard, where officers later found loaded handguns, police said.

Police said officers had to break both windows in the vehicle to extract both occupants and they were taken into custody.

Police said officers searched Gerlach and found $348 in cash, a large plastic baggie that contained five smaller baggies of marijuana with approximately 23 grams, a plastic baggie of methamphetamine that weighed approximately 2.50 grams and a glass methamphetamine pipe with chunks of methamphetamine inside weighing approximately .49 grams.

Police said Gerlach was arrested on charges of possession of controlled substance, first-degree property damage, resisting or interfering with an arrest, unlawful for certain persons to possess concealed weapon, unlawful use of weapons, distribution/delivery/manufacture/produce controlled substance, use or possession of drug paraphernalia and a felony parole violation-no bond warrant for the original charge of obstructing police.

Police identified the passenger as Justin Ewing, 29, of Fulton. Police said they searched Ewing and found a black shoulder holster on him.

Officers then searched the car and found a baggie of marijuana approximately less than 10 grams on the driver’s side rear floorboard where Ewing was reaching, a loaded, stolen .40 caliber handgun that fit the shoulder holster that Ewing was wearing, glass marijuana bong, and a travel bag containing a broken Alprazolam pill, digital scale and three glass methamphetamine pipes, police said.

Officers also found a duffle bag in the back of the car that contained two handgun holsters and a size 91/2 tennis shoes, the same size of shoe that Ewing wore at the time of his arrest.

Police said they arrested Ewing on charges of possession of controlled substance, stealing, unlawful for certain persons to possess concealed weapon, unlawful use of weapons and use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

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