By Pat Pratt
Troy Police arrested a Cahokia man with priors for armed robbery and other crimes after he was allegedly found in possession of a firearm during a June 22 traffic stop on Interstate-55.
Madison County State’s Attorneys have charged 45-year-old Ceasar Mack Burris Jr. with felony unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon and felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. Court records show he is currently in custody at the Madison County Jail and bond is set at $75,000.
Troy Police conducted a traffic stop about 11:38 p.m. June 22 on a red Volkswagen sedan displaying plates which expired in October 2022. When officers approached the car, a strong odor of cannabis was emitting from the vehicle, according to arrest reports.
The driver of the vehicle, Jewel Scroggins, 40, also of Cahokia, had a suspended license as did Burriss, according to the report. Police had both people exit the vehicle and told them they would need a valid driver. When questioned about the cannabis odor, Burris allegedly admitted there was some inside the car.
When police told Burris they would then be searching the car, he attempted to gain access to the vehicle but was ordered away by officers, according to the report. Inside, officers found an unsealed bag containing cannabis near where Burris was sitting in the rear passenger seat.
Between the passenger and middle rear seat cushions, barely visible in an obvious attempt to conceal it, according to the report, was also a black Ruger 9mm handgun. Police stated the gun was loaded with a round in the chamber.
A records check showed Burris had prior convictions for robbery, two convictions of larceny, and four convictions of burglary. Madison County court records show he was pleaded guilty in 2000 to armed robbery and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Burris told police the gun belonged to Scroggins and that she had a valid permit. She admitted the gun was hers, but did not know how it came to be near Burris in the back seat. Burris told police the gun was in the glove box – he later changed that to it was under the seat – and he hid it because he was scared.
Police checked the serial number on the weapons and it came back clear, according to the report.
Scroggins was issued a summons for driving while suspended and released. Burris was transported to the county jail on a felony hold pending the issuance of a warrant. He is set for a preliminary hearing July 7 with Circuit Judge Tim Berkley presiding.