YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Federal prosecutors say a man charged with a firearms offense after a standoff on the South Side last summer had to consent to searches of his home because he was on probation.
Writing in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio, Assistant U.S. Attorney Yasmine Makridis said that Brandon Turjonis, 34, was on probation out of Trumbull County and because he was, probation officers were allowed to search his home, where they found an AK-47 type rifle.
Turjonis was arrested following a June 19 standoff at an Aberdeen Avenue home on the South Side.
Police were called to the street for a report of a man walking around with a gun and when they arrived, they saw Turjonis outside with a gun. He then went inside the home and did not come out for about three hours until he was talked out by a negotiator with the Mahoning Valley Crisis Response Team.
Inside the home, police found an AK-47 type semiautomatic rifle that was not registered to him. Turjonis is not allowed to have or be around a gun because of a 2015 conviction in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court for attempted endangering children and illegal cultivation of marijuana.
His case was bound over to a Mahoning County grand jury in August and he was indicted. He was found competent to stand trial Jan. 29 before his case was transferred to federal court in February.
Turjonis was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and having an unregistered firearm.
Last month attorneys for Turjonis filed a suppression motion in the case before U.S. Judge Dan Aaron Polster, saying that the gun should be thrown out of evidence because Turjonis’ rights under the Fourth Amendment to not be subject to unwarranted searches and seizures was violated.
Prosecutors said when Turjonis was placed on probation, he signed a copy of the order that says he is subject to search at any time by probation officers. It was a probation officer at the standoff who also participated in the negotiations with Turjonis who entered the home and found the rifle.
Additionally, when police were called after Turjonis threatened a neighbor, they saw Turjonis holding the rifle before he ran into his home. That means that law enforcement had a reasonable suspicion to believe that Turjonis violated his probation, prosecutors wrote.
The search of his home was valid because of his probation status and it was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, prosecutors wrote.
A hearing has yet to be scheduled.