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RACINE — A Chicago man has been arrested in Racine after police reportedly discovered a handgun with the serial number scratched off.

Jonathan A. Brown, 20, of the 6900 block of South Clyde Avenue, has been charged with possession of a firearm by an out-of-state felon, carrying a concealed weapon, altering a manufacturers identity marks and disorderly conduct.

According to the criminal complaint:

Just before 8 p.m. Thursday, Racine police officers were dispatched to Walgreens, 819 N. Memorial Drive, for a report of a suspicious person with a backpack and clipboard asking for money.

Investigators located Brown across the street in the Sav-A-Lot parking lot where Brown identified himself and he was “looking for money to help him eat.”

Investigators asked for identification and Brown reported he had a birth certificate and Social Security card in his backpack.

Brown was not allowed to reach into the backpack and investigators could not find a record of him in the Illinois system.

Officers were concerned Brown was not who he claimed to be and he was handcuffed.

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As officers went through Brown’s backpack they discovered a Social Security card and birth certificate, and dispatch received a “near hit” on an individual who had a warrant.

Officers also found a silver .45-caliber Interarms Firestar handgun with black pistol grips and an extended magazine in it. The serial number was defaced so officers could not verify if the handgun was stolen.

Brown claimed the gun was given to him by individuals by the “Magic Food Market” named “Demonji” with the Facebook name of “George Almar.” Officers were not able to locate the Facebook account.

Brown said the individuals asked if he was a “P” or a “Lord,” which officers recognized as potential gang affiliations.

Brown reported that he told the individuals that he was from Chicago and was told to make sure he had a “piece” on him and to “make sure you blow at the opps if the opps out here,” which officers believe it was a reference to shooting at rival gang members.

Brown also told officers that the individuals put something in his bag and he didn’t realize that it was there until they left. Brown added he was planning to throw the gun into the river, but did not have a chance to do that.

Brown is being held in the Racine County Jail on $1,000 bail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 21. If convicted, Brown could spend up to five years in prison.

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