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August 5, 2012- Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports the arrest of three local men for possession of a loaded, stolen handgun following a traffic stop by the Sheriff’s Strike Force Unit in the City of Buffalo.

Erie County Sheriff’s Strike Force Deputies John Szczepanski and Matt Fuqua stopped a vehicle on Rounds Ave. at Orleans St. in the City of Buffalo for a traffic violation. The vehicle was owned and driven by 27 y/o Justin N. Shropshire of Buffalo. There were two passengers in the vehicle, 26 y/o Shawn L. Washington of Cheektowaga, and 22 y/o Erik Flood of Buffalo.

Upon further investigation, a small amount of marijuana was found in the possession of Flood and Washington. Washington also had a large sum of cash on his person. A further search of the vehicle located a loaded .22 caliber handgun in the trunk. It was soon discovered by Deputies that the handgun had been reported stolen out of Chautauqua County. None of the three occupants claimed ownership of the handgun.

All three subjects were arrested and charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd degree(C Felony) and Criminal Possession of a Stolen Firearm(E Felony). Washington had a prior felony conviction which made an additional charge of Criminal Possession of a Weapon(D Felony) applicable for him. Washington and Flood were additionally charged with Unlawful Possession of Marijuana.

All three were taken to the Erie County Holding Center and held pending arraignment in the City of Buffalo Court.

The vehicle was impounded for further investigation.