Weapon in car brings habitual-criminal charge

Weapon in car brings habitual-criminal charge

URBANA — A Champaign man who allegedly had a loaded weapon in his car in Urbana Tuesday has been criminally charged with being an armed habitual criminal.

Urbana police Sgt. Dan Morgan said a patrol officer saw Cleo Ross, 45, who listed an address in the 700 block of Tawney Court, driving near Lierman Avenue and Washington Street about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Knowing that Ross was driving while suspended, the officer followed him and eventually stopped the vehicle near Wabash Avenue and Oregon Street.

A search of the car after Ross was arrested for driving under suspension turned up a loaded handgun, Morgan said.

Because he's a convicted felon — Ross was sentenced to 15 years in prison for home invasion and armed robbery in Champaign County in 1992 — he is not allowed to have a handgun.

In addition to the Class X felony of being an armed habitual criminal, Ross was charged with a second, less serious felony count of unlawful use of weapons by a felon. If convicted of the more serious charge, he faces six to 30 years in prison.

Ross appeared Wednesday before Champaign County Judge John Kennedy, who set his bond at $25,000 and told him to be back in court Dec. 17.

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