February 8, 2017

Traffic stop leads to stolen firearm

A traffic stop led to the arrest of two Homestead men and the seizure of a firearm reported stolen in a vehicle burglary.

Deputy Cody Kerns was on patrol at 7 p.m. Tuesday when he stopped a northbound black Chevrolet Avalanche at the 104 mile marker. The vehicle’s tag light was out. Deputy Kerns made contact with the driver, 34 year old Charles Hanna, who it turned out does not have a valid driver’s license.

Hanna said he was driving the vehicle for a co-worker. Just as he was relating that information to the deputy, a second vehicle – a grey Ford transit van – pulled up behind them. The driver was identified as 43 year old Jacquelyn McCormick. McCormick admitted to knowing Hanna’s license was suspended and letting him drive the vehicle anyway.

Deputy Kerns could smell the odor of marijuana coming from inside the van. He asked both men if they had any weapons in their possession. McCormick said he had a gun – a Luger 9mm handgun - in the center console of the van.

A check of the gun’s serial numbers revealed it had been stolen in a vehicle burglary in Florida City. A backpack in the back seat of the Chevy Avalanche had a container of marijuana in it. Also in the backpack was paperwork with Hanna’s name on it, although Hanna claimed the backpack was not his.

Both men were arrested. Hanna was charged with driving with no valid license and possession of marijuana. McCormick was charged with grand theft of a firearm and allowing someone to drive a motor vehicle knowing they did not have a valid license. They were booked into jail.

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