Federal prosecutors oppose bail for man charged with Youngstown weapons offense

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Cameron Wells, charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in Youngstown.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Federal prosecutors say they are opposed to releasing a man awaiting trial on a Youngstown firearms charge.

Writing in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio before Judge Solomon Oliver Jr., Assistant U.S. Attorney Yasmine Makridis said a federal magistrate made the correct decision in ordering 39-year-old Cameron Wells held without bond because he has a substantial criminal history which includes a history of committing crimes while on probation or bail.

When Wells was arrested Jan. 12 by Youngstown police at East Ravenwood Avenue and Erie Street after finding marijuana and a loaded handgun in his car, he already had two warrants for failure to appear from two different courts and he admitted to smoking marijuana daily.

“The government maintains that there are no conditions that would reasonably assure the safety of the community,” Makridis wrote.

Wells was indicted in May by a federal grand jury on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a person with a domestic violence conviction.

Reports said when Wells was arrested, he told the officers that there was some “weed” in the vehicle and revealed a plastic bag underneath the radio. Police said he later told them “there might be” a weapon in the vehicle.

Afterward, officers reported finding a 9mm handgun in between the driver’s seat and center console.

Wells is not allowed to have a gun because of a May 2010 conviction in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for possession of cocaine and burglary. He also has an additional 2008 conviction in Mahoning County Area Court for domestic violence.

At his arraignment, U.S. Magistrate William H. Baughman Jr. ordered he should be detained.

His attorney, Darin Thompson, filed a motion June 30 asking that the detention order be revoked and that his client be released.

In his motion, Thompson said after he was arrested by city police, he posted bond, obeyed all conditions of his bond and was cooperative when interviewed by federal agents in May. When charged federally, Wells turned himself in, Thompson said.

When federal agents told him he would be indicted, Wells was not arrested but was instead instructed to turn himself in which he did, Wells wrote.

Makridis listed 11 prior criminal offenses Wells was convicted of or arrested for, including three separate counts of domestic violence. He also has a history of failing to appear for court, his attorney wrote.

“In his prior cases, he did not face lengthy jail sentences and he still failed to appear in court,” Makridis wrote. “Therefore, his history and characteristics support detention.”

Court records do not list a hearing date for the motions.

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