YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Police arrested two men Tuesday as part of the revamped Operation Steel Penguin.
Arrested on a parole violation Mikklo Degaldo, 19, of East Avondale Avenue, and arrested on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm was Thomas Nickerson, 33, of Drummond Avenue.
Both men are in the Mahoning County Jail. Nickerson is expected to be arraigned later today in municipal court. Degaldo’s parole violation will be set for a hearing in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Delgado was arrested about 6:35 p.m. after police and members of the state Adult Parole Authority assigned to the Steel Penguin detail visited his home and reported finding a loaded 9mm handgun after it was searched.
Because Delgado is on parole, he can be searched at any time.
Delgado told authorities he did not know a gun was in the house, reports said. Reports said a woman in the house said the gun belonged to someone who was in jail in October.
Delgado was taken into custody because as a condition of his parole, he is not allowed to be around firearms.
About 8:55 p.m., officers and parole agents also visited Nickerson’s home, where they reported finding a marijuana cigarette on a microwave. They searched further and said they found a 9mm handgun along with marijuana and a scale.
Nickerson said he did not know the gun was there, but he admitted the marijuana was his, which is a violation of his parole, reports said.
A woman in the home denied she knew the gun was there, but at one point, she asked what would happen if she said the gun was hers, reports said.
Nickerson is not allowed to have a gun because of felonious assault and aggravated robbery convictions in 2010 and 2011 from Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, reports said. He received a six-year prison sentence.
Nickerson also had previous criminal convictions dating back to 2006.
Operation Steel Penguin is a program consisting of city police, APA agents and members of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Attorney’s Office that looks for people who are known to carry guns despite being legally prohibited from carrying them.
The program ran in the city in 2019 and was discontinued last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.