Police arrest man in Niles Township after finding numerous drugs, stolen weapon in vehicle

Published 9:30 am Monday, October 22, 2018

NILES TOWNSHIP — An Indiana man was arrested early Friday after the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department found a stolen handgun and numerous drugs in the vehicle he was driving.

Joseph John Blair Jr., 26, of Mishawaka, was charged with possession with the intent to deliver methamphetamines; carrying a concealed weapon; carrying a concealed weapon; possession of a firearm by a felon receiving and concealing a stolen firearm; possession with the intent to deliver schedule 4 narcotics; possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony; driving on a suspended operator’s license; valid warrant out of Berrien County for contempt of court.

Blair’s arrest occurred at approximately 1:48 a.m., when a Berrien County Sheriff’s deputy initiated a traffic stop on the blue-colored Chevrolet Cavalier that Blair was driving. Blair was pulled over in the 2100 Block of S. 11th Street, for a defective equipment violation.

During the course of this traffic stop, the deputy learned that Blair had a suspended Michigan’s Operator’s License. The officer placed Blair under arrest.

During a subsequent search of this vehicle, police located and seized the following items: two handguns, one of which was reported stolen out of Kent County, Michigan; approximately 45 grams of methamphetamines and 291 various prescription pills, including clonazepam, alprazolam, oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Blair was lodged at the Berrien County Jail, pending his arraignment in the Berrien County Trial Court.

Authorities emphasized that charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.