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Loaded gun, grass found in New Springfield man's car

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Police found a loaded .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun during a traffic stop about 4:50 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of Knox Street and South Avenue.

Reports said officers pulled over a car driven by Matthew Burkhart, 31, of New Springfield, for failing to stop at a stop sign and they smelled burnt marijuana from inside the car.

A passenger, Jason Payton, 30, of Youngstown, was seen reaching under his seat and also was holding a marijuana cigar. A bag of suspected marijuana was found in his pockets when he was searched.

Police checked under the seat and found the gun. Payton was arrested on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of marijuana. Burkhart was arrested for a charge of driving under suspension and given a ticket for running a stop sign.