A registered sex offender caught in Scappoose with a missing 17-year-old girl in his car was also carrying methamphetamine and heroin, according to police.

A Scappoose Police Department officer responded to a suspicious vehicle behind a business on the 33000 block of Scappoose Vernonia Highway at 6:43 p.m. Saturday.

The officer contacted the driver and a teenage girl who was a passenger in the car. The driver was identified as Ernie Lipps, 48, of Salem.

Police said Lipps is a convicted felon and a sex offender.

The officer said he noticed a dagger, which is a restricted weapon, in plain view and took Lipps into custody. Police said the officer received consent to search the vehicle and found meth, heroin and a scale.

Investigators said the teen passenger gave false information to the officer. It was later determined the girl was reported missing out of Salem two years ago.

Lipps was arrested on charges of unlawful possession of meth and heroin, felon in possession of a restricted weapon and endangering the welfare of a minor. He was booked into the Columbia County Jail.

The teen was taken into protective custody and is being referred to the Columbia County Juvenile Department. She has been released to her family.

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