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Stolen Assault Rifle, Parole Violators Nabbed

Joliet Police Department tactical units are being credited with two busts that occurred in the same area at about the same time Wednesday night.

Joliet police tactical units doing surveillance on two vehicles Wednesday made four arrests and confiscated three guns, including a stolen AK-47-style rifle, Cmdr. Rich Demick said.

In the first case, officers observed the suspects' car go through a stop sign at about 8:15 p.m. near Springfield and Glenwood avenues and pulled the driver over, Demick said. When looking inside the vehicle, they saw the backseat passenger trying to conceal an item that ended up being a semi-automatic assault rifle, he said.

The driver, Ronald Ward, was also carrying a gun, and told police that even though he's from Joliet, he thought it was legal because he has a concealed carry permit from Indiana, Demick said.

Ward, 36, of 715 Second Ave., was arrested and charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, possession of less than 2.5 grams of cannabis and disregarding a stop sign. He was also charged with a parole violation and arrested on a warrant for failure to appear.

The passenger trying to conceal the rifle was identified as Artrell Daishon Scroggins, 21, of Fort Wayne, Ind. He was arrested and charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and possession of ammunition without an FOID card.

The third person in the car was Deitrick T. Ervin, 20, also of Fort Wayne, who was arrested and charged with obstructing police by initially giving officers incorrect information about his identity, Demick said.

Ward and Scroggins are being held in the Will County jail, Ward in lieu of $25,000 bond and Scroggins in lieu of $10,000 bond, according to jail records. Ervin's charge is a misdemeanor and he was released on a signature bond.

In the second case, the suspect was not willing to give up so easily, Demick said.

Tactical officers attempted to stop Timothy E. Moffett, 37, of 11 Mississippi, Joliet, at about 8:15 p.m. in the 1500 block of Glenwood Avenue, but Moffett decided to flee instead, Demick said.

He blew through several stop signs as he took Westminster Road over to West Acres Road and ended up crashing in an empty field at West Acres and Larkin Avenue, Demick said.

When Moffett was taken into custody, police found he had a stolen gun, he said.

Moffett was arrested and charged as an armed habitual offender and with possession of a weapon as a felon, possession of ammunition as a felon, possession of a stolen firearm, defacing the ID mark on a firearm, fleeing and eluding police, and obstructing a peace officer.

He also faces several traffic charges, including operating a motor vehicle without insurance, driving with a suspended/revoked license and improper traffic lane usage.

He, too, was arrested for violating parole and was wanted on a warrant for failure to appear, jail records show.

He is being held at the county jail in lieu of $500,000 bond.

Demick lauded the tactical units for not only recovering the stolen guns but for nabbing two men who were parole violators.

"These guys do a really great job, and yesterday's arrests are just another good example," he said.

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Tony January 19, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Criminals have never been known for being to smart, of course nowadays nobody completely stops at stop signs.
Tony January 19, 2013 at 05:41 PM
If the arresting officers stay at the jail long enough to have a bite to eat they may see the perpatratiors back out on the street.
Hartz February 03, 2013 at 03:35 AM
I just pulled up this article to see what the local definition of an 'assault rifle' was. I expected better from our area... I think. I have a rifle and it is only an assault rifle when I decide to assault someone. In fact, my compound-bow may actually transform into an assault-compound-bow if another coyote comes into our yard.
Dad February 03, 2013 at 05:06 AM
I have an "Assault Cane" and I keep it on my person at all times! Make me mad and I'll shove 36" of hickory up your sphincter!
Hartz February 03, 2013 at 02:38 PM
I think I'd opt in for a more splintery-type of wood like pine... But then you may be talking a whole 'nother' level of assault-cane.

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