Suspect remains jailed on gun, drug charges

Suspect remains jailed on gun, drug charges

URBANA — A Champaign man arrested last week for allegedly possessing drugs for sale while armed remains in the Champaign County Jail.

Antonio Brown, 27, who listed an address in the 1700 block of Hedge Road, has been charged with being an armed habitual criminal in connection with his arrest March 13 at a gas station in the 1500 block of North Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, by the Champaign County Street Crimes Task Force.

Sgt. Dave Griffet, the task force supervisor, said police had developed information on Brown that indicated he was selling drugs, so they had been watching him.

The day before his arrest, Brown pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance for having a small amount of drugs in December in Champaign. He was sentenced to a year of conditional discharge.

Police, who knew Brown's license was suspended, saw him driving about 2 p.m. March 13. They made contact with him in the gas station parking lot. Griffet said Brown stepped inside the door of the business, dropped a bag of suspected crack cocaine on the floor then stepped on it. Police recovered it and found it weighed about 4.6 grams.

He was brought outside and searched. Police found another 1.4 grams of suspected crack cocaine, four-tenths of a gram of powder cocaine, and about 1.5 grams of heroin on him, as well as $760, Griffet said.

In the sport utility vehicle he had been driving, police found a loaded .38-caliber gun next to the driver's seat. As a convicted felon, Brown is not allowed to possess a weapon.

In addition to the armed habitual criminal charge, a Class X felony that carries a mandatory prison sentence of between six and 30 years upon conviction, Brown was also charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin and cocaine, Class 1 felonies, and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon on parole, a Class 2 felony.

Brown is on parole for involuntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a felon in connection with the January 2013 accidental shooting death of his girlfriend, Sydni Kay Blackwell, 20, of Williamsport, Ind., at the Super 8 Motel in Champaign.

He was released from prison in August 2017 after serving about four years of a 10-year prison sentence.

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