An Evanston man on Tuesday is facing felony weapons charges after an officer found him carrying a loaded sawed-off shotgun in a backpack Monday, authorities said Tuesday.
Hari H. Lele, 20, of the 1200 block of Forest Avenue in Evanston, was charged with felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and felony no firearm owner’s identification card after his arrest in the 900 block of Greenleaf Street shortly before 11 a.m. Monday, police said.
They said a patrol officer saw Lele walking in the 900 block of Greenleaf Street with a green backpack that appeared to have an object inside which was stretching the bag’s material. The officer reportedly knew Lele through previous contacts and had information that Lele was involved in ongoing narcotic sales in the area, police said. They said that when Lele saw the officer, he started to walk in the opposite direction.
The officer drove toward Lele, who began to increase his pace away from the officer, police said. They said the officer stopped Lele and at that time found him to be “nervous and shaking.”
When the officer asked about the backpack Lele was carrying, Lele denied owning it, police said. They said the officer then searched the backpack and found a loaded sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun. Lele was taken into custody and charged. He is scheduled for a Wednesday hearing at the Skokie courthouse.
Brian L. Cox is a freelancer.