A man has been sentenced to two years in prison after he was found with a ghost gun, dynamite and commercial-grade fireworks after he stopped to film officers who were on a traffic stop in Zion.
Christopher Cox, 33, of Waukegan, was charged in July with three counts of felon in possession of a firearm, three counts of transferring explosive material without a license, possession of a defaced firearm, possession of drug equipment, unlawful possession of cannabis and illegal transportation of liquor by a driver.
Prosecutors later filed superseding charges of two counts of felon in possession of a firearm, three counts of transferring explosive material without a license and one count of possession of a controlled substance.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Dino Katris said during an initial court hearing that officers with the Zion Police Department were out on a traffic stop on July 2.
The officers spotted a vehicle that had a driver inside wearing a ski mask and filming the officers.
The vehicle, driven by Cox, entered into Winthrop Harbor and officers stopped the car.
Officers spotted an open alcoholic beverage in the car and Cox admitted he had cannabis in his pocket, Katris said.
Katris said officers found pills, which Cox did not have a prescription for, inside the car and over 50 grams of psilocybin chocolate bars.
They additionally found two sticks of dynamite and fireworks, all of which cannot be bought in stores without being a licensed pyrotechnic operator, which Cox is not, according to Katris.
Katris said smoke grenades and a 9mm ghost gun along with ammunition were also found. A “purge” mask was found near the gun.
Cox has a revoked Firearm Owner’s Identification card for a previous felony drug conviction, Katris said.
Court records show Cox entered into a negotiated plea deal with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office on Friday.
He pleaded guilty to one count of transferring explosive material without a license, a Class 3 felony, in exchange for his other charges being dismissed.
Cox had faced seven to 14 years in prison on the more serious charges that were dismissed.
Lake County Judge Daniel Shanes approved the plea deal and sentenced Cox to an agreed-upon two years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Attorney Robert T. Ritacca, who is representing Cox, said he believes the plea deal is reasonable.
Cox had been held in the Lake County Jail on a $350,000 bond since his arrest.
He will receive credit for 82 days of time already served and will be required to serve the two-year sentence at 50%.