Evanston police say they recovered two handguns and arrested two men for possessing them in separate incidents Tuesday.

Police Cmdr. Joseph Dugan says that at about 4:52 p.m. an officer on routine patrol conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the 400 block of Dewey Avenue because the driver was not wearing a safety belt and failed to use a turn signal.

Dugan says when the officer approached the vehicle he noticed an odor of cannabis coming from inside, and in searching the car police found a loaded 9mm Tanfoglio handgun underneath the front seat.

The 9mm Tanfoglio handgun.

After the driver, Marquise C. Duerr-Starling, 25, of 832 Florence Ave., was taken into custody, Dugan says, officers also found he was carrying a clear plastic baggie containing about 3.1 grams of suspected cannabis.

He’s been charged with being an armed habitual criminal, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, possession of a firearm and ammunition with no valid firearm owners identification card, unlawful use of a weapon, possession of cannabis and was issued two traffic citations.

Duerr-Starling was also on parole at the time of the arrest and his parole status was violated by the Illinois Department of Corrections.       .  

Then, just before midnight, Dugan says, detectives from the tactical unit, who were working as part of the department’s violence reduction initiative, were checking on an occupied vehicle parked in the 1900 block of Brummel Street.

Dugan says the officers noticed an odor of burnt cannabis coming from inside the car. The driver, Branden L. Johnson, 24, of 830 Judson Ave., told the detectives, Dugan says, that the vehicle’s occupants had just finished smoking cannabis and that he had a handgun in the glove compartment.

Dugan says the detectives recovered a 9mm Beretta handgun from the glove compartment and a loaded 9mm magazine in a compartment near the steering wheel.

The 9mm Beretta handgun.

Johnson was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of possession of a firearm and ammunition without a valid firearm owner’s identification card.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Good job evanston police
    Now can you guys cut the nuisances with these idlers thats always outside on these corners.

    1. Thank you, EPD! But I agree.
      Thank you, EPD! But I agree. You need to get rid of the idlers and start stopping and checking more suspicious cars.

  2. Very Troubling re: guns in Evanston

    Two independent traffic stops results in 2 people carrying guns. Is this a random occurrence?

    What is the probability of 2 random traffic stops resulting in 100% gun possession?

    Or said another way, what % of people in Evanston are carrying a gun, legally or illegally?

    And then we can start to break down the demographics and ask the question, "what % of males aged 18-30 who live in Evanston carry a gun?"

    We need to start asking more questions about guns in Evanston.

    1. For the safety of our

      For the safety of our community, I hope that there are more people carrying legal weapons than carrying illegal weapons. All we need to know is the estimated number of those with the illegal weapons.

    2. Gun probability

      I highly doubt these were the only two stops (only one was a stop really – the other car was parked) that police made on Tuesday. They're just the only ones this story is about.

      So, to answer your question – I think the probability of two random (which neither of these were) traffic stops resulting in 100% gun possession is probably near zero.

    3. More stops for non-turn signals
      I’m sure the police success ratio for find guns/drugs would go down but I wish they would stop and ticket a lot more cars for not using turn signals.
      At least a third of all cars making turns don’t signal—neither in the 140 feet before a turn as required by law or at the intersection before they turn.
      This is true day and night, on side streets and main streets [like Ridge and Sheridan], for right and left turns and even in heavy traffic that they turn into.
      While I don’t see the police ticketing bike riders in the downtown area where riding on the sidewalk can’t be missed, only broken bones are likely to occur. With the behavior of car drivers the results are much more serious.

      1. Traffic Stops Could Stop A Lot of Crime

        The argument was made to me that if our police stopped more speeding cars at the entries to our city, they'd probably deter a lot of crime… perhaps even some of these drive-by shootings.  It would be a great way to smooth out our traffic too.  There are any number of moving violations that our police could use to get ahead of crime that is coming into our city.  Crime that is already in our city is another story… but it seems our police already know many of the problem homes that exist within our boundaries.

  3. Two Gun Arrests
    How is it an “aggravated use of an illegal weapon” if neither gun was in use at the time? Wouldn’t it be “possession of an illegal weapon?” And, obviously, for the one man on parole….a clear violation of that. I just don’t understand the legal terminolgy.
    Also, when the dispensary is up and running will the EPD automatically search vehicles that smell of cannabis? Especially just for a minor traffic violation like “no seat belt?”
    And, no, I am not suggesting that anyone drive while stoned.

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