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Man’s memory lapse leads to drug arrest

Updated: December 19, 2012 12:14PM

ELGIN — If Juan Carlos Estrada had remembered where he had put his pellet gun, he might have avoided being arrested.

According to an Elgin police report released this week, someone called 911 at 11:15 a.m. Saturday to report that a man was carrying a rifle in the 100 block of South Gifford Street. When police arrived, Estrada, 29, who lives in a home there, told the officers that squirrels have been damaging the house and he had been shooting at them with a pellet gun.

According to the report, Estrada told the officers he had put the gun inside the main part of his car and he gave the officers permission to go into the car to get it. When they at first couldn’t find the gun, they said, they looked further in the car and found more than 15 grams of marijuana, $1,425 in cash, a marijuana pipe and a scale of the type used by dope dealers. Estrada was charged with misdemeanor possession of cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia and firing an air rifle in the city limits.

Only then, the officers reported, did Estrada remember that he actually had put the pellet gun in the car’s trunk. Police retrieved it and confiscated it, too, as evidence, police said.

Police said Estrada had a plausible reason why he legitimately had the $1,425, so they returned the cash to him and did not charge him further. He was released on bond pending an Oct. 28 court hearing.

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