THORNTON | Letters of commendation were presented last week to three Thornton police officers for their efforts in taking marijuana, a semi-automatic handgun and suspected drug money off the streets.
Police Chief Douglas Beckman said Detective Richard Wesolowski on Oct. 1 observed a suspicious vehicle parked in front of a house on the 400 block of Kinzie Street.
Hammond resident Anthony Sulls, 20, and Thornton resident Markest Hunter, 24, were in the vehicle, he said.
"Markest's mom lives there, so he alleged that he was waiting for her," Beckman said. "But as soon as they saw my officer drive by they pulled away."
An investigation conducted by Wesolowski and Officer Joseph Tieri revealed discrepancies in the stories Sulls and Hunter gave, Beckman said.
The smell of marijuana was detected by the officers, so Officer Terry Houts and the village's police dog, Ado, were called to the scene.
Discovered in the vehicle were less than 10 grams of cannabis, the Glock handgun and $5,000 in $20 bills, police said.
Sulls was arrested and charged with unlawful use of a weapon, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana.
Hunter was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana.
Beckman said such arrests are not common in Thornton.
"I can tell you we've maybe done two or three seizures in the last five years where we found drugs and money," Beckman said.
The chief praised the officers involved for their handling of the situation.
"It makes our neighborhoods and our surrounding neighborhoods safer places to live for everybody," Beckman said.