According to reports, investigators were conducting patrols for impaired drivers when they stopped a Hyundai Elantra on Highway 36 in the county late Saturday evening for speeding.
A police K-9 alerted to the vehicle during an open-air sniff, indicating the presence of illegal drugs. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed 3 ounces of marijuana and a loaded handgun.
Authorities charged the driver, Dean Keller, 23, 2560 Mclean Drive, Kingsport, with speeding, violation of financial responsibility, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of schedule VI drugs for resale.
Also charged was a passenger in the vehicle, Tyree Ford, 23, 3316 Watterson St., Kingsport. Ford faces charges of possession of schedule VI drugs for resale, possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony and contributing delinquency of a minor.
A juvenile riding in the vehicle at the time of the incident was released to his or her parents.
During the stop, another passenger jumped from the vehicle and fled the scene on foot. According to reports, investigators have identified the individual and charges are pending.
The vehicle and a small amount of cash were seized. An investigation is continuing.