By Ashley Luthern
The Violence Gun Reduction and Interdiction Program was back in full force this weekend, opening the summer season with numerous arrests.
V-GRIP is a cooperative effort of federal, state and local law-enforcement officials that focuses on gun crimes. Members of the U.S. Marshal’s Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, FBI Violent Crimes Task Force and the Mahoning Valley Violent Crimes Task Force served warrants and made arrests primarily on the city’s South Side on Saturday.
“V-GRIP involves a wide partnership, and I certainly want to commend all agencies. They are collectively doing an outstanding job,” said Mayor Jay Williams. “... I believe through a coordinated, collaborative effort, we can effect a dramatic decline in crimes and sustain it.”
Police said they received reports of a man walking on Erie Street carrying an AK-47 assault rifle and wearing a ski mask, black shirt and camouflage shorts late Saturday.
The man was identified as Christopher A. Shiflett, 22, of Erie Street, who had active warrants from the Youngstown, Niles, Kent and Struthers police departments.
Police set up a perimeter around 1038 Erie St. and spoke to Nicole L. Brumert, 23, of Youngstown, who said Shiflett was not inside and that police did not have her permission to enter, according to reports.
Officers said the homeowner arrived and gave police permission to search the house, which turned up a ski mask. Reports state an officer noticed a small hole in the closet that led to the attic and used a mirror to look up into it, catching sight of an assault rifle, which was confiscated.
The officer saw Shiflett and told him to come down, and Shiflett said he would surrender but instead went farther into the attic. Police put holes in the attic floor until he came down and arrested him, according to reports.
Brumert was arrested and charged with obstructing justice and taken to jail.
Also as part of Saturday’s V-GRIP efforts in the city, police arrested Delataire G. White, 28, of Linwood Avenue, after he led officers on two minor vehicle chases and a foot pursuit, according to police documents. He had active warrants out of Youngstown and the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department.
Chad E. Marshall, 32, of Cambridge Avenue, was arrested on active warrants out of Youngstown, Campbell and the Mahoning County sheriff’s office.
Nathen O. Jones, 34, of Evergreen Avenue, was wanted by the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Department, and when police arrested him, they found Jones had a gun loaded with live rounds. Jones was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and having a weapon under disability.
Pete David, 24, who told police he was homeless, was seen leaving a car parked on a West Delason Avenue that was blocking the sidewalk. Police stopped to issue a traffic citation and saw David doing something at the bushes near the house, reports state. Officers found a handgun with 10 live rounds leaning against the house where David had just been and arrested him on a charge of having weapons under disability, reports state.
Police on saturation patrols saw a vehicle in the driveway of a West Laclede Avenue home blocking the sidewalk and another vehicle in front of it. When they went to investigate, they saw pills, marijuana blunts, scales and drugs in the cars, according to reports.
Korey K. Moody, 26, of West Delason Avenue, came out of a car toward police with his hand searching his waistband and pockets when police ordered him to stop, reports state. Police said they handcuffed Moody and found he had drugs hidden near his groin. Moody was charged with three counts of drug possession.
In the incident, Marcus J. Wilkins, 23, of Campbell, was arrested on two counts of drug possession and one count of drug paraphernalia, and Charles K. Taylor Jr., 25, of Woodhurst Drive, was issued a citation for possession of marijuana.
“What started as innocuous as a parking ticket can lead to the discovery of drugs, and where there are drugs, there are often guns. People with weapons and felonies are under disability, which brings a swift and stiff prison sentence,” Williams said.