Published March 09, 2007
SPOKANE, Wash. – Blues Traveler frontman John Popper is an avid gun collector who often stops at shooting ranges when traveling, and that's why officers found weapons in his vehicle during a traffic stop, his manager said Thursday.
Troopers stopped Popper and a companion on Tuesday after they clocked the vehicle at 111 mph, the Washington State Patrol said. Officers said they found a cache of weapons and a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle.
The two men were booked into the Adams County Jail and then released.
Authorities plan to charge Popper, 39, who lives in Snohomish, Wash., and Brian Gourgeois, 34, of Austin, Texas, with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Gourgeois, who was driving Popper's black Mercedes SUV, will also face a charge of reckless driving, the Patrol said.
George Couri, manager for Popper and the band, said all the weapons in the vehicle are registered and were transported in a locked cabinet.
"He is an avid gun collector and when he takes long trips, he likes to visit shooting ranges," Couri said.
Inside the vehicle were four rifles, nine handguns and a switchblade knife. Troopers also found a Taser and night vision goggles.
"Since January, John has been in Austin, Texas, recording an acoustic album of the band's greatest hits and was driving home from Austin to western Washington when the car was pulled over," Couri said in a written statement.
Troopers also said the vehicle had flashing emergency headlights, a siren and a public address system. In a news release, Popper "indicated to troopers that he had installed these items in his vehicle because (in the event of a natural disaster) he didn't want to be left behind."
The SUV was clocked going 111 mph, the Patrol said. Officers seized the vehicle and recovered a small amount of marijuana and a marijuana pipe, the Patrol said.
A number for Gourgeois in Austin, Texas could not be located.
Popper achieved fame as a harmonica player and frontman for Blues Traveler. The band won a Grammy award in 1996 for the song "Run-around," which Popper composed.
Popper recently formed a group called The John Popper Project with DJ Logic, which released an album in 2006 and is scheduled to go on the road later this month.