GARY | A manager of a store in the 700 block of West 45th Avenue was arrested on drug and gun charges Wednesday after police said they found several weapons during a routine inspection.
Mohamad Ali, 43, of Gary, has been charged with three felony counts, including include possession of a handgun with an obliterated serial number, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana. Ali also faces one misdemeanor count of possessing drug paraphernalia.
Officers from Indiana State Excise Police — the law enforcement arm of the state’s Alcohol and Tobacco Commission — were conducting a tobacco inspection about 1 p.m. Wednesday at the One Stop grocery store, 719 W. 45th Ave., when they recovered and seized four guns from the premises, police said.
“Often, state excise police officers discover serious criminal violations while performing their regulatory duties,” State Excise Police Superintendent Matt Strittmatter said in a written statement. "Their efforts reinforce the importance of how regulating alcohol, tobacco and Type II gaming ensures public safety.”
Excise officers seized a Ruger 9 mm handgun with the serial number removed, police said. It was one of four guns discovered inside the business, police said.
In addition to the criminal charges against Ali, the store was cited for violating Indiana's smoke-free air law for allowing smoking inside the business, police said.