A man who was pulled over for a traffic violation in North Carolina was found this week with a gun in his jail cell — a big gun that authorities believe he hid in his rectum.
The man, identified as Michael Leon Ward, 22, of Canton, Ga., was in the Onslow County, N.C., jail after his arrest Monday morning. He is awaiting extradition to Georgia, where he is wanted on a fugitive warrant in a murder investigation.
But that's not why you're reading this. You want to know about the gun.
Deputies told NBC station WITN of Washington, N.C., that Ward was searched and then strip-searched before he was put into a holding cell. Jailers also made Ward perform what they call a "squat and cough" procedure.
Only later did they find the gun — a .38-caliber revolver, with a 4½-inch barrel. While it wasn't loaded, it worked just fine when officers loaded a bullet and test-fired it.
According to a Highway Patrol incident report, state troopers stopped Ward on Monday morning after he passed them going more than 90 mph, authorities said. Ward and a woman claiming to be his wife rolled up their windows and locked their doors when troopers approached.
After troopers forced the door open, Ward resisted and had to be subdued with a Taser, they said. Authorities say Ward told them he was unable to get out of the car because he was disabled and couldn't walk.
Ward was first taken to a hospital because he was complaining of heart problems. Officers didn't find the gun. Nor did they find it when he was put in his jail cell.
Eventually, jailers discovered the gun in his cell.
Both Ward and the woman claiming to be his wife gave false names, authorities said. Once he was identified, they learned that he is wanted on suspicion of first-degree murder and armed robbery in Canton, Ga., north of Atlanta.
NBC station WNCN of Raleigh reported that Ward was being taken back to the hospital Friday for examination of "possible injuries that may have occurred" to his rectum.
In the meantime, he's charged in North Carolina with a half-dozen counts, including speeding, DWI, reckless driving and resisting arrest, the Highway Patrol said.