Suspect leads cops to guns

Published 3:30 am Wednesday, October 12, 2011

In an investigation that spanned more than a month, East Brewton police have made an arrest in a case of stolen guns.
Nicholas Conner Phelps, 18, was charged with third-degree burglary and second-degree theft of property in connection with the case.
Officer Clemente Brooks said police made the arrest when Phelps requested an escort to his father’s home where he had been living.
“Phelps was no longer allowed to live in the home with his father and wanted someone to go with him to collect his things,” Brooks said. “He was a suspect in the case of the stolen guns that we had been working on for a while. When I asked him what kind of property he was going after, he said he was going after clothes and some guns.”
Brooks said he took Phelps to the home, however the owner would not allow him to enter the residence.
“We asked if we could come in and take a look at the guns Phelps was wanting to pick up and we were allowed in,” Brooks said. “Of the guns we found there, four of them were identified as some of the guns reported stolen.”
Brooks said a report of as many as nine guns being stolen from a Jernigan Lane address had been the focus of an investigation for months.
Brooks said Phelps was taken into custody and was questioned about how he came into possession of the guns.
East Brewton Police Chief Kenny Brazile questioned the suspect about the guns and received a confession.
“When Chief Brazile questioned Phelps he admitted to taking four of the guns from the Jernigan Lane residence where the guns were reported stolen,” Brooks said. “He admitted to breaking into the home and taking the guns. We recovered more guns from Phelps during this investigation. We believe some of the guns stolen were pawned. We have three other guns that we are still investigating to find the owners of those guns.”
Brooks said an investigation into the whereabouts of the other guns reported stolen from the Jernigan Lane home is continuing.
Phelps was transported to the Escambia County Detention Center where he was booked on the charges against him.