Ex-Bellator fighter Joe Taimanglo charged after drugs found in fanny pack

(Editor’s note: This story originally published at Pacific Daily News, part of the USA TODAY Network.)

Guam Police Department officers arrested former Bellator fighter Joe Taimanglo on Thursday after he was spotted driving a red scooter with expired plates and found with a loaded handgun and drugs, according to police spokesman Sgt. Paul Tapao.

MMA fighter Taimanglo, 36, was traveling on Route 1 in Upper Tumon by Jack in the Box, police said. Officers stopped Taimanglo, who got off the scooter and rummaged through the compartment under the seat, according to a magistrate’s complaint.

The officer told him to stop and Taimanglo said he was looking for his license. The officer could see part of a firearm and a glass pipe inside the seat compartment as the officer approached Taimanglo, according to the charging documents.

The officer searched the compartment after Taimanglo consented to a search and found a loaded Ruger P85 pistol, a glass pipe with residue and a plastic baggie with a substance that tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine, documents stated.

Police said the meth was found within a fanny pack.

Taimanglo told police he didn’t know that the gun was inside the compartment and he got the scooter from his cousin, documents state. He recanted later and said he picked the gun up after it was dropped by a person attempting to rob his store, documents said.

He also told officers he took the drugs away from his cousin to stop his cousin from using it and then said he was returning it to his cousin because he didn’t feel right holding it, documents stated.

Taimanglo was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm without a firearm ID as a third-degree felony, illegal possession of a concealed firearm as a third-degree felony and possession of a Schedule II controlled substance as a third-degree felony.

Taimanglo, who fought for Bellator 11 times from 2013 to 2018, hasn’t competed since November 2018, when he lost a unanimous decision under the WCFA banner. His most notable victory was a 2016 submission of former Bellator champ Darrion Caldwell.

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