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Parent finds ‘dealer’s starter kit,’ complete with loaded gun, at park

MERRIAM, Kan. -- Police say a parent playing with children in a Kansas park found a quart-sized mason jar of marijuana, a loaded gun and a scale while looking for a lost ball.

"I called it the marijuana dealer's starter kit," Merriam Police Capt. Troy Duvanel said. "Cause you've got everything. You've got your scale here for weighing out the product, cellphone for communicating with your clients, obviously your product, and your protection."

Police say the adult found the weapon and contraband on Memorial Day at Campbell Park in Merriam, according to investigators. The gun was a loaded 9 mm Beretta, caked with dirt.

"It could have ended badly if a kid or someone had found it," Duvanel said.

He said, judging by the all dirt on the loaded gun, it could have been in the park for weeks. He warned the public not to touch any found weapons.

"Just call the police and let us deal with it because you don't know the condition of it," he said.

The findings worry Sandy Paida, who lives next to Campbell Park. She had a picnic there with her 9-year-old granddaughter Tuesday.

"That's very scary," Paida said. "I don't let the kids come down here by themselves. I'm always with them, but still, they're down here and they're walking around. Anybody could have found it."

Paida said everything about the abandoned "starter pack" was strange.

"My concern is why was it left here? If somebody pulled up and scared them and they just threw it and ran? Which way did they run?" Paida said.

Those are all questions Merriam police don't have the answers to yet.

"If somebody had to leave it for an emergency, if somebody consumed too much of their own product and forgot where they placed it, it's difficult to say," Duvanel said.

Merriam police said once they send everything to forensics for prints and DNA testing, there's a good chance they'll find who it belonged to. They haven't turned the phone on yet, but when they find the person who left behind the drugs, scale, phone and gun, he or she will likely be arrested for possession with intent to distribute.