Fugitives arrested following traffic stop in West Ashley

File photo
File photo

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - Two fugitives wanted by North Charleston authorities are behind bars following a traffic stop in West Ashley over the weekend.

The Charleston Police Department charged 21-year-old Michael Antonio Heyward with unlawful carrying of a handgun and active bench warrants out of North Charleston. Shaquille Lamont Varns, 20, was charged with giving false information and two active warrants.

It all started Saturday night when a police officer saw an SUV fail to use a turn signal in the area of Ashley River and Wappoo roads.

After pulling the vehicle over, the officer asked the driver, Heyward, for his driver's license and registration. Police say when the officer asked Varns for his identification, Varns said he had none and said his name was "Tavarius Watts."

A check revealed Heyward had a bench warrant out of North Charleston for failure to appear on a traffic offense. When authorities asked Heyward if he had anything in the car that would get him in trouble, Heyward said no and gave consent for authorities to search the car.

According to police, during the search, officers located an ID card for Shaquille Varns which identified "Tavarius Watts" as Varns. A check revealed that Varns had two bench warrants out of North Charleston for failure to appear for first- and second-degree driving under suspension.

Investigators say a loaded revolver was found on top of clothes behind a rear seat. A juvenile was also found in the back seat of the vehicle.

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