New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
The first day reaped success for the New Castle Police Department’s new street crimes unit.
Police Chief Bobby Salem said the team effort Monday resulted in the arrest of two men on gun and drug charges and the arrest of a third man for an alleged robbery.
The new eight-member street crimes unit is assigned to handle crime that requires more police attention than a standard patrol, Salem said. The unit’s purpose is to aggressively address street-level narcotics, prostitution, quality of life issues and rowdy situations and supplement the operations of patrol officers.
“We got them off of the streets,” Salem commented of the three arrests, “and that’s the way the unit is supposed to work, to charge people who are dangers in the community.”
In a traffic stop around 5:30 p.m., unit officers arrested Leland Burnette, 16, of Apt. 7, 308 N. Mercer St., and Maurice Perkins Jr., 21, of 357 Halco Drive.
Salem noted Burnette is a juvenile charged as an adult with three felony gun violations.
The officers said they received information Burnette had been involved in multiple shooting incidents in the city, and that he was riding in a car in the Harbor Heights area of the West Side.
Officers pulled the car over for not using a signal while turning onto Booker Drive.
They located a .38-caliber handgun under the driver’s seat and a 9 mm gun with an altered and unreadable serial number in the center console.
Police said Burnette and Perkins were passengers. The driver, later released from custody, told officers the two had been fidgeting while police were following him. He told police there had been no gun in his car when he left his house, and that he had seen that Perkins had a gun in his waistband when he picked him up.
He also told police that Burnette had opened the console.
Burnette, previously convicted of a drug crime, is now charged with illegal possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm without a license and possession of a firearm with an altered manufacturer’s number.
Police determined the .38-caliber pistol was close to Perkins in the car and had been reported stolen.
Officers said they found Perkins to be in possession of two bags of suspected crack cocaine and heroin.
He is charged with one count of receiving stolen property, two counts of possession with intent to deliver and two counts of possession.
Both suspects were arraigned by District Judge Scott McGrath, who set bond at $50,000 each.
In a separate incident, police arrested Lorenzo Jackson Jr., 50, around 2:15 p.m. after answering a call for an assault in the 400 block of South Ray Street. The victim, Jackson’s brother, said Jackson had punched him in the face, hit him over the head with a car seat and stole $150 from his hoodie.
Jackson is charged with robbery, theft, receiving stolen property, simple assault and harassment.
He also was arraigned by McGrath and is in jail on $10,000 bond.