Wickliffe police find loaded gun, drugs next to baby during traffic stop

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WICKLIFFE, Ohio — A traffic stop ended with a passenger under arrest and the driver facing multiple citations after police say they discovered a stolen gun and drugs next to a baby.

Wickliffe police stopped the car on Thursday on Euclid Avenue for multiple violations just before midnight.  Officers discovered the 25-year-old female driver had a suspended license and the car smelled of marijuana.

While searching the vehicle, officers said they discovered a loaded 9mm handgun in a backpack that was next to a 1-year-old child in the backseat. The handgun was reported stolen to Cleveland police in the past.

“The risk for us is something worth noting, so add to that mix a child in the vehicle, It’s just, the whole thing is something that’s a little trickier for the officers to sort out,” said Lieutenant Pat Hengst.

Additional ammunition, marijuana, cocaine, and a digital scale with drug residue were also found during the search.

The female driver was issued multiple citations and released with the child. Her passenger, 29-year-old Lionell Brooks of Cleveland was arrested and charged with improper transportation of a firearm in a vehicle, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, receiving stolen property, possession of cocaine, and possession of marijuana.

“Initially, both occupants of the car denied ownership of the gun. Eventually the male admitted to possessing the gun,” said Lt. Hengst. “On checking the serial number for the weapon, it was found to be a stolen gun, it had been stolen previously in Cleveland, and then the male in possession of that gun is a convicted felon.”

Brookes pleaded not guilty on Friday in Willoughby Municipal Court.  He was ordered held on $25,000 cash bond.

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