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Man pleads to gun charge

WARREN — A Cleveland man pleaded guilty Thursday to a weapons charge linked to a police discovery during a Dec. 21, 2020, traffic stop on the southwest side of Warren.

Montez Williams, 31, will be sentenced after being convicted by Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Ronald J. Rice on a charge of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.

First, Williams must submit to a background investigation conducted by the adult probation department. He faces up to an 18-month prison sentence and must forfeit a Taurus 9 mm semiautomatic handgun.

The firearm was found by Warren police after they stopped a silver 2008 Chrysler that had pulled into a drive-thru lane of the Dwallah Market at 1104 Palmyra Road SW. The police report noted the driver had slurred speech and had trouble following the orders of the officer. As the driver started to resist the grasp of one of the officers, the other officer used a Taser on him until he fell to the ground.

After securing the driver, officers found the firearm inside the vehicle, the report states.

The plea deal reached Thursday headed off a scheduled Aug. 9 jury trial. In exchange for Williams’ guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of having weapons under restrictions. Williams remains free on a release program in which he must report to probation officers periodically for drug testing.

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