An Illinois man now faces multiple criminal charges after an incident near Pauls Valley that left a couple of law enforcement officials wondering “what if” when it came to the possible danger they faced.

Making his initial court appearance Monday on three formal charges, including two felonies, was James Wyman, 33.

Two officers from different agencies are likely still thinking about the incident that led to Wyman’s arrest and charges because a pistol could potentially have played a bigger part.

At issue is a .45 caliber handgun, fully loaded and ready to fire, found underneath a bag belonging to Wyman, which authorities later learned contained illegal drugs.

Those discoveries led to the criminal counts against Wyman in Garvin County District Court.

The incident came nearly a week ago when county deputies were contacted about a pickup seen in the Walker area east of Pauls Valley where a number of thefts had earlier occurred.

After locating the truck, Sgt. Chad Hillis was led to a residence in the area where Wyman and a female subject were found. Soon joining Hillis at the scene was Eric Farmer, a Chickasaw Lighthorse police officer.

Reports indicate the woman, who actually owns the property, consented to a search of some areas including a barn.

Among the things found in the barn was a black bag, which was setting on a table stand and appeared to have had a number of people gathered there before.

Soon called into the barn, Wyman went to the bag when asked to produce some type of identification. Wyman’s hands were in the bag when Farmer noticed something that made him cautious.

“Wyman looked up and stared at me for about three or four seconds and then looked over at Dep. Hillis,” Farmer stated in his report of the incident.

“Wyman’s stare made me very suspicious about what was in the bag.”

An order from the officer to remove his hands was at first ignored by Wyman.

He quickly raised his hands and backed away while shaking visibly from what appeared to be nervousness after a second command that included Farmer removing his own service weapon.

Seconds later the officers found the handgun underneath the bag.

“I picked up the pistol, and I observed the safety was off and that the pistol was ready to fire,” Farmer reported.

When asked directly, Wyman denied having any intention of using the gun to shoot the officers. In fact, he reportedly denied knowing the weapon was even there.

Inside the bag amounts of methamphetamine and marijuana were found, along with a large amount of cash.

Wyman was the only subject arrested at the rural scene.

Also found in the barn were three rifles, which were confiscated when no one at the scene claimed ownership, reports show.

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