A vehicle passenger who attempted to hide a handgun in his driver’s purse when the police pulled them over was sentenced this week to two years in prison.
State’s Attorney Mike Carr says Nicholas Webb, 35, of Cairo also faces a year of probation following his prison term and costs amounting to $262 after he pleaded guilty May 16 to one count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, a class 3 felony. Another similar charge was dropped in exchange for Webb’s plea.
Carr says that on Jan. 5, Carbondale Police observed a gray Buick Century fail to make a complete stop at a stop sign at the intersection of North Marion and East Chestnut streets and promptly initiated a traffic stop.
They identified the driver as Janiece Barber and the passenger as Webb, and a subsequent K-9 search indicated that drugs were in the vehicle. As Barber and Webb were being removed from the vehicle, Barber reached for her purse, which had been near Webb on the front passenger floorboard.
Police conducted a search of the purse and found a loaded Bryco Arms 9 mm handgun. In an interview with Webb, he admitted to placing the weapon in the purse when they saw the police. Webb also has a prior felony conviction out of Jackson County for possession of a controlled substance.
Assistant State’s Attorney Patrick J. Brewster was responsible for the prosecution.