PC Jones weapons plea

Martez L. Jones, 26, of Urbana, sentenced Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, to 2.5 years in prison after pleading guilty to unlawful use of weapons by a felon, admitting that on Sept. 9, he had a loaded 9 mm handgun in his home, which police found during a narcotics investigation.Champaign County Jail Martez L. Jones, 26, of Urbana, sentenced Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, to 2.5 years in prison after pleading guilty to unlawful use of weapons by a felon, admitting that on Sept. 9, he had a loaded 9 mm handgun in his home, which police found during a narcotics investigation.

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URBANA — An Urbana man with prior weapons convictions is headed to prison for having a gun in his home.

Martez Jones, 26, whose last known address was in the 900 block of Lanore Drive, was sentenced Tuesday to 2½ years in prison after pleading guilty to unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.

Jones admitted to Judge Tom Difanis that on Sept. 9, he had a loaded 9 mm handgun in his home, which police found during a narcotics investigation.

Assistant State’s Attorney Troy Lozar said members of the Champaign County Street Crimes Task Force had enough information about alleged drug sales at the Lanore address to obtain a search warrant. Besides the gun, they found two other loaded magazines for it.

Having previously been convicted of reckless discharge of a firearm, unlawful use of weapon by a felon and resisting a peace officer, Jones is not allowed to possess a weapon.

He told police that he was acting as a middle man for others trying to obtain cocaine, Lozar said.

In exchange for his guilty plea, another count of unlawful use of weapons and one count of possession of a controlled substance were dismissed.

Jones’ attorney, Jamie Propps of Champaign, asked that he be given a week to turn himself in for prison. She told Difanis that the gun was actually registered to the mother of Jones’ child and that he hadn’t seen one of his five children who was born two months ago. Without comment, Difanis denied the request.

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Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is mschenk@news-gazette.com, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).