JACKSONVILLE, NC (WECT/WITN/AP) – A man wanted for first degree murder in the Atlanta area was arrested in Onslow County. Deputies in Onslow County say the man hid a large handgun in a body cavity.
According to the sheriff's office, Trooper Scott Merritt spotted Michael Ward driving more than 90 mph on Highway 17. He and another trooper from Duplin County worked together to stop Ward.
Highway Patrol told WITN Ward rolled up his windows and locked his car when troopers approached. Both he and a woman in his vehicle claiming to be his wife refused to roll down the windows.
WITN is reporting troopers were able to get the door open and had to taze Ward, who was then taken to the hospital after complaints of heart problems and being unable to walk.
The sheriff's office said Ward was examined at the hospital and released back into Trooper Merritt's custody, who took Ward to be booked into the jail.
Ward was strip searched before being booked and underwent the standard "squat and cough" procedure. According to the sheriff's office, Ward used another person's identity during the arrest and booking process.
Detention officers found a .38 caliber handgun in Ward's cell the next day. Jailers eventually discovered Ward stored the 6-inched barrel gun in his rectum. He was taken to the hospital for examination of possible injuries.
According to Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown, the medical exam showed Ward had suffered no injuries.
The sheriff's office said the gun was not loaded at the time, but was test fired by investigators to determine its functionality, and it was in operational condition.
Ward is wanted for a homicide that happened in the Atlanta area in October 2011.
Investigators with the Onslow County Sheriff's Office are assisting the Atlanta Police Department with their investigation.
Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved. The AP & WITN contributed to this report.
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