URBANA — A Rantoul man on parole for a weapons offense was arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly possessing cocaine he intended to sell.
Champaign County Street Crimes Task Force Sgt. Dave Griffet said Michael J. Sanders, 52, who listed an address in the 400 block of East Congress Avenue was arrested when he showed up, allegedly in possession of about 13 grams of cocaine, while police were searching a Rantoul mobile home that they think is intended as a gathering spot for drug users.
Griffet said his officers conducted court-ordered searches of two mobile homes in Rantoul, obtaining warrants based on ongoing investigations over the last few months that involved drug buys.
The searches in the 1300 block of Cypress Lane and the 1200 block of Pinoak Lane began within minutes of each other, starting about 2:15 p.m.
While police were searching the home on Cypress Lane, Griffet said there was a knock on the door and Sanders was there, representing himself as a minister who wanted to speak to the resident.
A search of Sanders turned up two bags of cocaine in a breast pocket weighing a total of about a half-ounce, Griffet said. He also had about $170 cash on him.
Department of Corrections records indicate Sanders is currently on parole for a weapons conviction and has other prior convictions for armed robbery, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and robbery.
Also at that address, police arrested Robert Mercer, 60, who allegedly had ammunition but no firearm owner’s identification card that would have allowed him to have it.
In the search of the home on Pinoak, Griffet said police found two women, one of whom had outstanding arrest warrants for failing to appear in court cases in Champaign, Edgar and Tazewell counties. Andrea Owens, 32, who listed an address in the 2400 block of Highview Court, Champaign, was arrested on those warrants and on charges of unlawful use of weapons because she had no FOID card and police found two rifles, a pistol and ammunition at that address.
The state’s attorney’s office was expected to file formal charges Thursday.