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Routine Search Turns Up Loaded Uzi Handgun

Deputies arrested a young man walking near Sunset Point and Belcher roads after they found a loaded semiautomatic handgun in his backpack.

A 21-year-old faces weapons charges after patrol deputies found a loaded Uzi concealed in his backpack, according to a media release from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

William Cody Roach, of 2048 Sunset Grove Lane, was arrested about 2 a.m. Thursday and charged with carrying a concealed firearm. Deputies stopped him while he was walking near Belcher and Sunset Point roads in Clearwater.

According to the media release:

"Deputies Chris Nault and Caro Spearman were on routine patrol in the area of Sunset Point Road and Belcher Road when they observed a man, later identified as 21-year-old William Cody Roach, walking westbound on Belcher Road. Roach was carrying a camouflage backpack.

"The deputies exited their cruiser. Deputy Spearman approached the subject and asked if he could speak to him. To which he agreed. Deputy Spearman further asked Roach if he had any weapons on him. Roach denied having any weapons and consented to a patdown. No weapons were found.

"Roach provided his name to the deputy. Before stepping away to run his name for warrants, the deputy asked Roach if he was carrying any weapons in his backpack, to which Roach replied he only had a PS3 game in the backpack. The deputy asked to check his bag. Roach consented to the search, at which point the deputy located a loaded 9mm Cobray semi-automatic handgun (Uzi); and an additional magazine."

Roach was taken to Pinellas County Jail.

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