Staphanos Baslaal. (CCSO photo)

A 27-year-old Wilmette man is in the Cook County Jail on a felony firearms charge after he crashed his car on Sheridan Road in Evanston.

Cmdr. Ryan Glew says police responded to the crash in the 2700 block of Sheridan Road about 2:55 a.m. Tuesday and found that the 2019 gray Jeep Cherokee driven by Stephanos Baslaal was undrivable after hitting the curb.

Glew says that while investigating the crash, officers observed a gun box inside the vehicle and could smell an odor of cannabis coming from the car. They searched the vehicle and saw small amounts of cannabis on the floor board and in the center console cup holder.

He adds that when they looked in the trunk area they found a Keltec Sub 2000 9mm rifle inside a bookbag and an extended magazine containing live ammunition.

The gun and ammunition police say they found in Baslaal’s Jeep.

 In addition to the firearm and ammunition, Glew says officers found a locked bookbag in the vehicle.

Glew says that after officers determined that Baslaal, who lives in the 800 block of Leclare Ave. in Wilmette, was a convicted felon who did not have a concealed carry license or FOID card, he was arrested and transported to the station. The vehicle was towed and impounded pending seizure. 

Detectives obtained a search warrant for the locked bookbag Glew says they found about six grams of suspected cannabis, a pair of brass knuckles, two items of drug paraphernalia (a glass and a metal pipe) and about three grams of suspected methamphetamine inside.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office approved a felony charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.

Baslaal also faces a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance and other misdemeanor charges as well as a city ordinance violation for transportation of cannabis. 

He’s being held in the Cook County Jail on a $75,000D bond and is next scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 2 at Branch 42 at Belmont and Western in Chicago.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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