RACINE – A Racine man attempted to swallow marijuana and a female passenger attempted to conceal a handgun during a traffic stop here Monday afternoon.

The Racine County District Attorney’s office charged Maurice L. Gayles, 25, of 800 Park Ave. #104, with possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of THC-second offense, and two counts of misdemeanor bail jumping.

According to online court records, Gayles made an initial court appearance on Tuesday afternoon where cash bond was set at $1,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 11 at the Racine County Law Enforcement Center, 711 Wisconsin Ave.

According to the criminal complaint, Racine Police stopped a vehicle, driven by Gayles, because the officer observed that he was not wearing a seat belt. The traffic stop was made at about 4:26 p.m. Monday near 16th Street and Packard Avenue.

As the officer was making contact with Gayles, he saw him attempting to drink Gatorade and swallow something. When the officer asked Gayles what he was swallowing, Gayles “spit out a green leafy substance” that later tested positive for THC, according to the complaint.

Gayles and a passenger, identified as Miranda Harrington, 22, of Racine, were removed from the vehicle. An officer observed “a bulge coming from Harrington’s breast area, and after a search, a firearm was located,” the complaint stated. The firearm was later identified as a Taurus 62s 9mm handgun.

Harrington told police that Gayles was her boyfriend and the vehicle belongs to her. When the vehicle was being pulled over, Gayles took the firearm that had been laying on his lap and handed it to her. The woman stated that she took the firearm “because she knew he was on probation,” according to the complaint. When an officer told her that Gayles would be going to jail she became emotional and asked “What if I say the gun is mine?”

The Racine County District Attorney’s office filed charges of carrying a concealed weapon and misdemeanor bail jumping against Harrington on Tuesday. Her initial court appearance on the two misdemeanor charges is scheduled for March 31. She has been free on a $500 signature bond on a disorderly conduct charge from July 2020, according to online court records.

According to the complaint, Gayles was free on a $150 signature bond on a disorderly conduct charge from August 2020.


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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...