Traffic stop for not using a turn signal ends in felony firearms charges for Racine man

Savontae Underwood

Charges of possession of a firearm by a felon, who is a repeat offender, stemmed from a Wednesday traffic stop by a Racine Police officer. At about 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, an RPD officer observed a vehicle travelling southbound on Memorial Drive. The vehicle made a right turn without using its signal, and the officer pulled it over. The vehicle was being driven by Savontae Underweood, 19, of Racine.

According to the criminal complaint, the officer smelled burnt marijuana in the vehicle, but the driver denied having any drugs in the vehicle. The officer conducted a search of the vehicle and found a .40 caliber handgun with an extended magazine wrapped in a shirt under the driver’s seat. The bundle also contained an additional magazine.

The officer located a large amount of marijuana flakes in a small mesh bag, according to the report, a spent bullet casing on the floor, two cell phones and three $50 bills.

The suspect had previously been convicted for firearms crimes, the complaint states. Having been previously convicted of a firearms felony brought the repeater possession charge, which carries a fine of not more than $25,000 and prison time of up to 10 years. Or both.

Underwood is due in Court Jan. 16 for a preliminary hearing.

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Rex Davenport is a reporter, editor and editorial project manager with more than 40 years of experience in newspaper, business magazines and other content channels.