NORRISTOWN — A judge sent a Philadelphia man to prison after a jury convicted him of drug and weapons offenses in connection with a traffic stop in Montgomery Township.

Kevin Patrick Sharpe, 33, of the 2500 block of South Philip Street, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 4-to-8-years in a state correctional facility after he was convicted of charges of persons not to possess a firearm, possession of a firearm with an altered serial number, firearms not to be carried without a license, possession of methamphetamine and ecstasy and possession of drug paraphernalia in connection with an August 2018 incident.

Judge Thomas C. Branca, who presided over the jury trial, ordered Sharpe to forfeit the firearm, a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun, to county detectives. Branca also said Sharpe must undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation and comply with all recommendations for treatment.

Sharpe was convicted of the charges during a two-day jury trial. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Tanner Beck. Defense lawyer Colin Hannings represented Sharpe.

Sharpe was a front seat passenger in a Ford Escape stopped by Montgomery Township police at 2:55 a.m. Aug. 13, 2018, on Upper State Road at Route 463 for an alleged inoperable passenger side headlamp.

The driver of the vehicle, Michael Joseph Dippolito, 40, of the 2100 block of Crawford Drive, West Norriton, previously pleaded guilty to charges of possession of methamphetamine for personal use and driving under suspension in connection with the incident and was sentenced to 6-to-12-months in jail and two years’ probation as part of a plea agreement, according to court records.

During the traffic stop, a police K9 unit conducted a sweep of the vehicle and presented a positive alert for the presence of narcotics in the vehicle, according to the criminal complaint filed by Montgomery Township Police Officer Andrew Bouch.

An initial search of the vehicle uncovered a large quantity of liquid methamphetamine, crystal methamphetamine, ecstasy, psilocybin mushrooms, Suboxone and various drug paraphernalia, according to the criminal complaint. At the time, Sharpe was discovered carrying more than $2,200 on his person, police alleged.

Police also searched a safe that was found on the rear floor of the vehicle and inside recovered a box of 9mm ammunition in addition to other controlled substances and drug paraphernalia, according to court documents. Authorities alleged Sharpe had a key for the safe on a key ring he had on his person.

When police placed Sharpe and Dippolito in the rear of a police vehicle, they were overheard discussing whether something “was hidden well,” according to court papers.

During a second search of the vehicle on Aug. 16, police recovered a Smith & Wesson 9mm firearm secreted between the passenger side glove box and dashboard, police alleged. There were at least 12 rounds of ammunition in the magazine and the ammunition inside the gun had the same appearance as the ammunition found in the safe linked to Sharpe, police alleged in court papers.

Originally, police charged Dippolito with joint possession of the firearm but all weapons offenses were dismissed against Dippolito as part of his plea agreement.

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