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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Leesburg man jailed on drug and gun charges after traffic stop

Montavious Lamont Johnson
Montavious Lamont Johnson

A 20-year-old Leesburg man pulled over for driving erratically was arrested Saturday night after marijuana and a loaded pistol were found in his vehicle.

Montavious Lamont Johnson, of 408 Church St., was charged with carrying a concealed without a permit, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug equipment.

Shortly before 11 p.m., a Leesburg Police officer stationed near the intersection of South Street and Holiday Lane saw a red truck traveling west on South Street at a high speed. The truck passed another vehicle, then abruptly did a U-turn in the middle of the road. While heading east, the truck quickly crossed from the right lane into the median and continued driving on the median as if it was a regular travel lane, according to the police report.

The officer conducted a traffic stop and spoke with Johnson, who was the driver. Asked if he was OK, Johnson said he was fine.  Told about the traffic violations the officer observed, Johnson said money flew out of his window and he was going to look for it, the report said.

The officer detected the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle and asked Johnson if there was anything illegal in the vehicle. Johnson replied there wasn’t. Because of the smell of marijuana, the officer asked Johnson to step out of the vehicle. When Johnson got out, the officer observed a large bud of marijuana in the seat where Johnson had been sitting. The marijuana weighed 1.3 grams, according to the report.

The officer also saw a glass jar containing marijuana residue on the passenger seat. Another officer opened the passenger side door and saw the center seatback was down and the area was being used for storage. In that area, the officer found a black Taurus 9mm pistol with an extended magazine concealed under the top storage portion of the center seatback, the report said.

The concealed pistol was not securely encased and was readily accessible to Johnson despite being hidden from view. The pistol had one round in the chamber and six in the extended magazine, according to the report.

A black digital scale was found in the center console of the truck, along with two boxes of 9mm ammunition. The driver’s door panel was removed, exposing the metal framework. A 9 mm magazine loaded with eight rounds was found in the framework of the door, the report said.

After being read his Miranda warning, Johnson said the truck is in his father’s name but he is making payments to him for the vehicle. He said the firearm did not belong to his father. When asked if the firearm was his, Johnson did not say anything but insisted it did not belong to his father, according to the report.

Johnson was taken to the police station for booking and then to the Lake County Jail, where he was released the next morning on $4,000 bond. He will appear in Lake County Court on June 14.

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