Traffic stop brings drug, weapon charges
URBANA — A Champaign man who police say ran from them after a traffic stop Tuesday afternoon has been charged with drug and weapon offenses that could net him 30 years in prison if convicted.
Leavell Allen, 34, who listed an address in the 2400 block of North Neil Street, was charged Wednesday with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, armed violence, and being an armed habitual criminal.
Assistant State's Attorney Lindsey Clark said about 12:10 p.m. Tuesday, Urbana police officer Matt Mecum tried to stop a sport utility vehicle near the intersection of Green and Birch streets in Urbana because the driver was allegedly talking on a cellphone.
The SUV didn't immediately pull over and its driver, still unidentified, led police on a pursuit to the east and north that ended near Griggs and McCullough streets. The SUV stopped and its occupants got out and ran.
Clark said police arrested Allen in the parking lot of a motel in the 400 block of West University Avenue, where a digital scale fell from his pocket when he hit the ground.
Officers went back along Allen's path of flight and found a loaded Smith & Wesson handgun that they learned had been reported stolen to the Champaign County Sheriff's Office. Within a foot of the handgun, they found a bag containing four smaller bags of suspected cocaine weighing just under 11 grams.
Allen had $1,900 cash on him as well, she said.
In an initial statement to police, Allen said he was a back-seat passenger in the SUV and knew nothing of the cocaine but said he ran because he is on probation and was scared of being caught. Police did not find or arrest anyone else.
Later, Clark said, Allen admitted to police that he had purchased the stolen gun for $100 last week and that he possessed the cocaine intending to sell it.
The armed violence and armed habitual criminal charges are Class X felonies while the possession with intent to deliver charge is a Class 1 felony.
Clark said Allen has prior convictions for unlawful possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, delivery of a controlled substance, and unlawful use of weapons by a felon.
Judge John Kennedy set Allen's bond at $150,000 and told him to be back in court April 29.