Two men arrested for drugs, weapons charges


The arrest Saturday of two men on drugs and weapons charges is the latest incident in an apparent trend in which police apprehend previous offenders in possession of guns and drugs.

Craig Police arrested Thomas Patton, 23, and Aaron Hampton, 31, Saturday, following a complaint that Patton was threatening Columbine Apartment residents with gun.

Patton is a parolee from Wyoming, and Hampton was out on a $20,000 bail after an arrest earlier this month on drug charges.

Police say they found the suspects in possession of marijuana, methamphetamine and two handguns.

The arrests came just two weeks after police apprehended Lynn Horn, a convicted felon, when they found a shotgun and methamphetamine in his vehicle.

Police are finding "more and more" instances of suspects in possession of methamphetamine and dangerous weapons, according to Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta.

Saturday's incident is the latest such arrest.

Police arrived to find the duo leaving the apartment complex in a car driven by Patton. The officers recognized Patton from "previous contacts," according to court documents.

Police reported having difficulty in calming Patton down. He allegedly was screaming and pacing while two officers trained their weapons on him and ordered him to the ground.

Two police secured Patton, and a Moffat County Sheriff's deputy assisted in the arrest of Hampton.

Police searched the car and found the butt of a revolver protruding from beneath the passenger's seat. It was a Smith & Wesson Chief Special, according to police.

Officers also found a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol, more than an ounce of marijuana and a baggie containing a white powder that tested positive for methamphetamine.

Officers allegedly found an electronic scale in the pocket of Hampton's clothing. Police suspect it is related to the drug trade.

One of the alleged victims at Columbine Apartments identified Patton and Hampton in a photographic lineup.

The alleged victim "did not hesitate to identify them," court documents indicate.

Both suspects were booked on charges of selling marijuana, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police also booked Patton on charges of felony menacing and possession of weapons by a previous offender.

Hampton faces charges of violating bail bond conditions, as well as felony menacing.

The suspects were advised of their rights in district court Monday. Formal charges are pending. The District Attorney's office has until 4 p.m. Wednesday to file charges.

Jeremy Browning can be reached at 824-7031 or

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