Youngstown police find two guns in car

By joe gorman


Police found two guns Friday afternoon after pulling over a car for a traffic violation on the South Side.

Officer Mohammed Awad pulled over the car about 5:20 p.m. at Erie Street and Hilton Avenue for making an improper turn, and when he went to speak to the people inside, he noticed a strong smell of burnt marijuana, reports said.

As another officer was called for backup, a back-seat passenger who gave police a false name was acting nervous, reports said. The driver and passenger were taken out of the car when one of the department’s police dogs, Hector, and his handler, officer Jessica Shields, showed up, reports said.

Awad tried to search the driver of the car, Benjamin Ross, 22, of Youngstown, but he was contorting his body in a way that hindered any kind of search, reports said. Awad did, however, manage to find a .40-caliber handgun that Ross had hidden in his pants and also a pill bottle with 28 pills inside.

Shields and another officer searched inside the car and found a loaded .380-caliber handgun underneath the driver’s seat, reports said.

The passenger who gave a false name, Shawn Braxton, 20, was in the back seat and in a position to have hidden the gun, reports said. He admitted to police the gun was his and that he also had a warrant for burglary, reports said.

Braxton was arrested on the charges of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, obstructing official business and burglary.

Ross faces charges of possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drugs, carrying a concealed weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Both are in the Mahoning County jail and are expected to be arraigned today in Youngstown Municipal Court.

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