YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The attorney for a man facing a gun charge in federal court says the evidence in the case must be thrown out because the radar unit used to pull over a car he was driving had the wrong antenna.
Regis McGann, who represents Lewis Powell II, 42, of Miller Street in Youngstown, said in a suppression motion filed Wednesday in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio that the radar unit a Girard police officer used May 29 to pull over a car Powell was driving can not be considered certified because the antenna on the unit was switched with another one.
Powell was indicted Aug. 25 by a federal grand jury on a count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, which resulted from the stop in Girard. He is set for trial Jan. 25 before U.S. Judge Patricia A. Gaughan.
Court records do not indicate where the stop was located, but Powell was pulled over after an officer clocked him on radar traveling 61 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone.
A search of the car turned up a handgun. Powell is not allowed to have a gun because of a 2014 conviction in federal court for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin.
The stop yielded charges on the state level of being a felon in possession of a firearm, improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, having weapons while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Those charges were later dismissed at the state level.
In his suppression motion, McGann wrote that company policy for the manufacturer of the radar unit states that a unit must not be considered certified if it is using an antenna from another unit without being calibrated.
Girard police had no record of any recalibration of the unit once the antenna was switched, according to McGann’s motion.
If the unit is not certified, then the traffic stop that led to the charges against Powell must be considered unlawful, and if the stop is unlawful, then any evidence found during the stop must be thrown out, McGann wrote.
Prosecutors have yet to file a response.