Drivers passing through west Portage at lunchtime Monday witnessed a swarm of police activity as officers converged on a house in the 1100 block of West Wisconsin Street.
Portage Police Detective Lt. Daniel Garrigan said officers made two drug arrests as a result of their investigation and recovered a handgun from the property.
Garrigan said the department is seeing more incidents in which drugs and firearms are present.
“We don’t need a combination of drugs and guns,” Garrigan said Tuesday. “It is alarming that we’re seeing more and more of these kinds of cases.”
Following the incident, 18-year-old Ryan McWilliams of Portage, who voluntarily appeared at the Portage Police Department for questioning, was taken to Columbia County Jail for violation of probation and on suspicion of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of stolen property.
Garrigan said the stolen property was a Tec-9 handgun reported taken from Missouri.
McWilliams is expected to appear Wednesday in Columbia County Circuit Court for an initial appearance and bond hearing.
A 16-year-old girl was referred to Columbia County Health and Human Services in connection to the incident on suspicion of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and underage possession of alcohol.
The drug charges aren’t the first for McWilliams. On March 16, he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor bail jumping as part of a plea agreement in which a felony charge of distributing drugs was dismissed. His sentence was withheld and he was placed on two years of probation.
On Tuesday afternoon, another young Portage man appeared in Columbia County Circuit Court on similar charges. Ethan Garrison, 18, was arrested just after midnight Friday following a traffic stop on East Carroll Street. The officer who made the stop reported smelling marijuana, and upon a search of Garrison and the vehicle, found two baggies of marijuana and $85 cash on him. In the center console, the officer reported finding a loaded 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun.
Garrison was charged with one count of felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and a misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon. Following his initial appearance in court Tuesday, Garrison was released on a $2,500 signature bond.
On May 5, 17-year-old Raul Medina III, who has two pending felony drug-related cases, was stopped in the town of Newport and charged with three counts of felony bail jumping and one count of misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon after a .40 caliber pistol was found under the driver’s seat along with an additional loaded clip and a bag of ammunition.
Editor's note: This article was updated May 17 to reflect that Ryan McWilliams and a 16-year-old girl turned themselves in to police following an investigation.