Youngstown cops start stops to nab guns, drugs, youths
By John W. Goodwin Jr.
The arrest of three juveniles on gun and drug charges resulted from a stepped-up police initiative.
Three teenagers — Carl Fleeton, 15; Ryan Ware, 17; and Andre Jacobs, 17 — were charged with improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle and possession of marijuana after a traffic stop on Belmont Avenue.
Police Chief Rod Foley says officers will work to reduce violent crime by making traffic stops in search of guns, drugs and way- ward youths.
Police said Carl Fleeton is the younger brother of De’Vail Fleeton, who was murdered on the city’s East Side when he was 16 in 2011. No arrests have been made in that murder.
According to police, Officer George Anderson, working patrol on the North Side on Sunday, noticed a black Chrysler convertible make an illegal right-hand turn onto Belmont Avenue at about 7:30 p.m. He pulled the car over in the 900 block of Belmont.
Anderson noted the three juvenile occupants inside the car — Fleeton, Ware and Jacobs — began acting nervously as he approached the car and tried to shield the officer from seeing what was inside the glove box.
Anderson checked the status of all three boys and learned that Fleeton was under driver suspension even though he is too young to have a driver’s license. When asked about the suspension, the 15-year-old said the suspension is the result of being caught with a gun at school, according to police.
Anderson asked the trio whether anything illegal was in the car and was told no. He asked for permission to search the car and was again told no.
A Boardman police dog was called to sniff the car’s exterior and indicated there were drugs in the passenger-side door.
Officers discovered two loaded handguns under the car’s seats and an assault rifle covered by clothing on the rear floor. There also was ammunition in the glove box and a partially smoked marijuana cigarette with suspected marijuana seeds on the floor.
“These are the things we want to focus on, getting these guys with these weapons,” Foley said. “We are looking for guns. We want them off the streets.”
City police collected two more guns during a traffic stop on the South Side one day after the teens’ arrest.
Officer Edward Kenney was sent to the area of Detroit Avenue on Monday to check on a Chevrolet Impala containing several males that kept circling the area. Kenney spotted the vehicle and realized its owner was driving under suspension.
Police attempted to pull the car over. Both front-seat passengers jumped out of the car and ran leaving two men seated in the back.
Inside the car, police found two loaded handguns on the front seat. There were also plastic bags containing unidentified pills believed to be Ecstasy, an illegal synthetic drug considered a stimulant with some hallucinogenic properties.
Police charged one rear-seat passenger, 20-year-old Dennis Hance, with possession of dangerous drugs. Police deemed the second rear-seat passenger not to be in possession of any weapons or drugs, and he was released.