Hoopeston man sentenced for gun possession

URBANA — A Hoopeston man who admitted he had a loaded gun in a pickup truck in Champaign County almost two years ago has been sentenced to two years of conditional discharge.

Brian Swinford, 42, pleaded guilty last week in Champaign County Circuit Court to aggravated unlawful use of weapons, admitting that he had a loaded, uncased gun within reach in the pickup truck he was driving on U.S. 45 in Rantoul on Sept. 18, 2011.

Assistant State's Attorney Stephanie Weber said in return for Swinford's guilty plea, she agreed to dismiss other charges in that case of armed violence and possession of a controlled substance.

At the time of his arrest, a small bag of suspected cocaine was found on the ground by where Swinford got out of the truck when stopped by police for allegedly weaving across lanes. He told police that it belonged to one of the two women who were in the truck with him.

An unrelated misdemeanor case alleging that Swinford had run a poker parlor in a west Champaign warehouse was also dismissed.

Champaign police had raided a building at 2714 Clark Road on Jan. 11, 2012, after collecting evidence that poker games were regularly being held there.

Co-defendant Scott Petticrew, 36, of Danville, pleaded guilty last June to the misdemeanor offense of keeping a gambling place and was sentenced to six months of court supervision.

Another 11 men and women who were present at the poker game were not criminally charged by the state's attorney's office.

Weber said Swinford had no prior convictions.

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