A Southwest Minneapolis man has been charged with illegally carrying a loaded handgun in his car after being convicted of a violent felony in 1997.
Ronald Ralph Brooks Jr., 35, is charged with being a felon convicted of a violent crime in possession of a firearm, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. The charge has a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison.
According to the criminal complaint, signed by Minneapolis Police Officer Christopher House, officers were on routine patrol on Chicago Avenue South on July 23 when they spotted a vehicle at a stoplight whose driver wasn’t wearing a seat belt.
Officers checked the car’s license plate and learned that it had been used in a robbery, with Brooks’ name and date of birth listed in connection with the robbery. Records showed that Brooks’ driver’s license was revoked and that he was being sought on an outstanding Anoka County warrant.
Police stopped Brooks’ car. During a search of the vehicle, they found a loaded .40-caliber Glock beneath the driver’s seat, according to the complaint.
Brooks admitted to police that the gun belonged to him and that he bought it for protection, because some gang members were trying to kill him, the complaint says.
In addition to a 1997 conviction for attempted aggravated robbery, Brooks’ criminal history includes felony convictions for possession of stolen property in 1996, being a felon in possession of a firearm in 1998 and 2001, fleeing a peace officer in 1999, fifth-degree drug possession in 2004 and domestic assault by strangulation in 2008.
Brooks remains in the Hennepin County Jail on a $15,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled Aug. 15 in Hennepin County District Court.