Three Kentucky Men Charged with Firearm Felonies after River North Traffic Stop

May 5, 2023Press Release

COOK COUNTY, IL – Three men who told police they traveled to Chicago to purchase marijuana at a dispensary were charged with felony weapons charges after police recovered multiple unlicensed firearms from their vehicle during a traffic stop in the Chicago’s River North neighborhood, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

At around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Sheriff’s Police assigned to the Cook County Sheriff’s Chicago Initiative observed a red Chevrolet Impala with expired license plates commit a traffic violation.

After executing a traffic stop in the 600th block of North La Salle Drive, officers detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. The driver, Jamon Smith, 31, of Louisville, subsequently told officers there was a handgun in the center console of the vehicle. Additionally, passengers Javonta Russell, 21, of Louisville, and Devin Hooper, 21, of Louisville, told officers they were each carrying a handgun.

The men were asked to exit the vehicle and were taken into custody without incident. Officers recovered three loaded 9mm handguns, one from inside the vehicle and one each on Russell and Hooper. Officers also recovered 38.5 grams of suspected cannabis from the vehicle.

After being issued their Miranda Warning, Smith told officers that they had travelled to Chicago to purchase cannabis from a dispensary and planned to return to Kentucky that same day.

The Cook County State’s Attorneys’ Office approved one count each of felony Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon for Smith, Hooper, and Russell. On Thursday, the men appeared for bond hearings at the George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building, where each was issued a $10,000 I Bond.

The public is reminded the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.