PEKIN — A Pekin man returned to state prison Friday with his latest conviction for dealing in meth, but more serious trouble may await him.

Joshua DuPage, 45, was sentenced to 8 years for possessing the drug with intent to deliver in February 2018. Other firearm-related allegations stemming from the case, meanwhile, have been referred to federal prosecutors, a Tazewell County prosecutor said Monday.

DuPage tried to run from the Pekin police officer who stopped him to check if he was wanted on outstanding warrants. Before the officer tackled him, DuPage reached his hand into his jacket pocket.

Asked by the officer what he was reaching for, DuPage replied, “A gun,” a prosecutor’s court affidavit stated. The officer found the pocket contained a loaded .22-caliber pistol.

DuPage also was carrying 84 prescription pills, three bags of methamphetamine, other drug-related items and $1,603 in cash, the affidavit stated. He was charged with armed violence and possessing a firearm as a felon in addition to the drug dealing charge.

A previous charge of possessing meth filed in 2017 was dismissed when DuPage pleaded guilty in the case producing his prison sentence. In that case, DuPage told police he had been obtaining the highly addictive drug in Peoria and selling it in Pekin, court records stated.

DuPage has already served three prison terms for meth manufacturing and burglary, according to court records.