Los Angeles Clippers forward Chris Wilcox was arrested by Howard County police and charged with transporting a handgun in his vehicle after a police search during a traffic stop early yesterday uncovered a .357 revolver, ammunition and spent shell casings in his car.

Howard County police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said police pulled Wilcox, 22, of Laurel, over at about 1 a.m. after they saw his silver BMW weaving while traveling south on Route 29 in Columbia. Police summoned a K-9 unit.

When the unit's dog called attention to something in the car, officers asked Wilcox if he was carrying anything "they should know about," Llewellyn said. Wilcox told police he had a gun in the car. Police found the revolver, which contained one spent shell casing, in a pocket behind the front passenger seat. Bullets and two other casings were found inside the car. Wilcox, police said, could not produce a permit for the weapon, nor proof that it was his.

Wilcox was charged with transporting a handgun in a vehicle, and was released on his own recognizance by a court commissioner. He was not found to be driving while impaired, Llewellyn said. An adult passenger was not charged.

The Clippers released a statement saying they were aware of the situation. "We have been in contact with Chris and his representatives. His representatives are keeping us informed as to any developments. Beyond that, there is nothing further we can add from our standpoint at this time," said Joe Safety, the team's vice president of communications.

Wilcox played two seasons at the University of Maryland, helping the Terrapins win the 2002 national title during his sophomore season. He averaged 7.9 points and 4.7 rebounds at Maryland. As a sophomore, Wilcox earned third-team all-ACC honors. He was drafted by the Clippers with the No. 8 pick in the 2002 NBA draft, one spot ahead of then-high school senior Amare Stoudemire, now an all-star with the Phoenix Suns. Wilcox reportedly signed a three-year, $6.1 million contract with the Clippers.

The 6-foot-10, 235-pound Wilcox has averaged seven points and 3.9 rebounds in three seasons in Los Angeles. He was the subject of trade rumors this past season with the Clippers. He averaged 15.5 points and 7.6 rebounds in the first 11 games of the 2004-05 season as a starter, but his playing time diminished after December.

Wilcox graduated from Enloe High School in Raleigh, N.C. He also attended Whitesville High School and West Columbus High School, both in Whitesville, N.C.

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