An Oak Lawn police officer on patrol noticed in his rearview mirror that a car traveling in the same direction was moving at a high rate of speed. The officer alleged that the driver pulled up alongside the officer and when the light turned green, took off speeding.
The officer alleged that the driver was clocked at 45 miles per hour on 95th Street and he stopped the vehicle at 94th and Central Avenue. Three people were in the car and the officer noted that there was open alcohol on the floor by the driver, the front seat passenger and the rear seat passenger.
The front seat passenger made the officer even more suspicious when he claimed he didn’t have an identification card. He allegedly provided the officer with a false name and an age indicating he was only 14 years old. The officer didn’t believe the passenger and advised him that providing a false identification is a crime.
After the occupants were removed from the vehicle, the officer discovered the passenger’s identification card and found his name was Marcel Gibson and not the name he provided.
The driver, Kevin Thomas, denied the officer’s request to search the vehicle. However, based on the fact that the officer said he saw open alcohol in plain view, he searched the car. During the search he alleged that he found a handgun under the front passenger seat.
The officer also claimed that he found a printer and laptop in a silver suitcase. The officer alleged that he also found a small box with numerous documents with the name Marcel Gibson on them. He alleged that he found blank checks under the name of a trust, others in the name of Ace Hardware, money transfer receipts, a debit card and a gift card.
The police alleged that the checks were in the names of others and none of the car’s occupants were authorized to write checks on the account. Detectives alleged that the combined losses were in the tens of thousands of dollars due to fraudulent checks.
At the police station, both Kevin and Marcel denied owning the gun. Kevin denied knowledge of the checks other than stating that Marcel asked him to hold onto the checks.
Marcel allegedly told the police he was contacted by someone on Facebook through the account of another person. He allegedly told the police that the agreement allowed him to cash the checks and keep half the money while turning the other half over. The police reported that they looked up the name provided by Marcel and could not find such a Facebook account.
The police alleged that they overheard both of the men arguing in the lockup with Marcel trying to convince Kevin to “take the fall for the gun charge”. Kevin’s statement was videoed and he once again denied ownership of the gun.
Marcel was charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and one count of forgery. The State’s Attorney refused to charge Kevin Thomas. He was issued a village citation for speeding and then released.
Marcel Gibson, a 26 year old black male, provided a Chicago address to police officers. According to the Cook County Sheriff’s website, he is being held at Cook County Jail with a $300,000 bond.