Stolen Assault Rifle, Parole Violators Nabbed
Joliet Police Department tactical units are being credited with two busts that occurred in the same area at about the same time Wednesday night.
In the first case, officers observed the suspects' car go through a stop sign at about 8:15 p.m. near Springfield and Glenwood avenues and pulled the driver over, Demick said. When looking inside the vehicle, they saw the backseat passenger trying to conceal an item that ended up being a semi-automatic assault rifle, he said.
The driver, Ronald Ward, was also carrying a gun, and told police that even though he's from Joliet, he thought it was legal because he has a concealed carry permit from Indiana, Demick said.
Ward, 36, of 715 Second Ave., was arrested and charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, possession of less than 2.5 grams of cannabis and disregarding a stop sign. He was also charged with a parole violation and arrested on a warrant for failure to appear.
The passenger trying to conceal the rifle was identified as Artrell Daishon Scroggins, 21, of Fort Wayne, Ind. He was arrested and charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and possession of ammunition without an FOID card.
The third person in the car was Deitrick T. Ervin, 20, also of Fort Wayne, who was arrested and charged with obstructing police by initially giving officers incorrect information about his identity, Demick said.
Ward and Scroggins are being held in the Will County jail, Ward in lieu of $25,000 bond and Scroggins in lieu of $10,000 bond, according to jail records. Ervin's charge is a misdemeanor and he was released on a signature bond.
In the second case, the suspect was not willing to give up so easily, Demick said.
Tactical officers attempted to stop Timothy E. Moffett, 37, of 11 Mississippi, Joliet, at about 8:15 p.m. in the 1500 block of Glenwood Avenue, but Moffett decided to flee instead, Demick said.
He blew through several stop signs as he took Westminster Road over to West Acres Road and ended up crashing in an empty field at West Acres and Larkin Avenue, Demick said.
When Moffett was taken into custody, police found he had a stolen gun, he said.
Moffett was arrested and charged as an armed habitual offender and with possession of a weapon as a felon, possession of ammunition as a felon, possession of a stolen firearm, defacing the ID mark on a firearm, fleeing and eluding police, and obstructing a peace officer.
He also faces several traffic charges, including operating a motor vehicle without insurance, driving with a suspended/revoked license and improper traffic lane usage.
He, too, was arrested for violating parole and was wanted on a warrant for failure to appear, jail records show.
He is being held at the county jail in lieu of $500,000 bond.
Demick lauded the tactical units for not only recovering the stolen guns but for nabbing two men who were parole violators.
"These guys do a really great job, and yesterday's arrests are just another good example," he said.