U. of I. Police recover loaded gun from vehicle just off campus

CHAMPAIGN – A man was arrested and an illegal firearm seized after police found a loaded handgun in a vehicle just blocks from the U. of I. campus late Saturday night.

A patrol officer near Locust and John streets, Champaign, watched as a vehicle driven by Charles Peterson, 24, of Urbana, failed to stop for a stop sign around 11:23 p.m. Saturday. After the officer initiated the traffic stop, the vehicle pulled into a gas station at the corner of First and Green streets.

Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer noticed a strong odor of cannabis coming from inside the car. All four occupants, including Peterson, were ordered out of the car. Police found marijuana in the front pocket of one occupant, who was issued a citation for possession of cannabis.

While searching the trunk of the vehicle, the officer found plastic containers suspected to have been used to hold cannabis. A loaded handgun was also found in a bag which also contained personal documents belonging to Peterson, who does not have a Firearm Owner’s Identification.

Peterson was arrested on preliminary charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. All four occupants of the vehicle were issued no-trespassing notices for U. of I. property, meaning they can be arrested if they are on campus.

Please note: Those arrested are presumed innocent until proved guilty. For more information on people who have been incarcerated – such as the amount of bail or bond, the date or time of arrest or discharge – please contact the telecommunications desk at the U. of I. Police Department.