Freddie Lee Allen Jr., 21, and Khalid Conner, 18, were pulled over at 10 p.m. on Oct. 27 and arrested for possession of marijuana. Allen was additionally charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon and tampering with identification numbers on a weapon. A third student was released on scene with no charges filed.
Allen was driving when Tyler Police pulled over his vehicle in the TJC parking lot east of the tennis courts. Upon reaching the vehicle, Tyler Police officers noticed the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. It was at that time that Tyler PD searched the vehicle and found marijuana and a handgun inside. Upon inspection of the handgun, Tyler PD noticed that the serial numbers had been tampered with.
Allen was charged with breaking a law while carrying a handgun in the car, which resulted in the unlawful carrying of a weapon charge because it is legal to have a gun in your car in the state of Texas.
“If the offense is above a class C misdemeanor, and there’s a gun in the car, then you can’t have (the gun,)” said Don Martin, Public Information Officer for Tyler Police Department. “If he had just been stopped for a stop sign, and there was no drugs in the car and nothing was wrong other than the traffic violation, then he would not have been charged with carrying a prohibited weapon. Also because the gun had all the numbers stripped off of it, then there is an offense on that as well.”
Conner was part of the redshirt program, which is essentially a class, and Allen was part of the scout team, which is a group that assists the football team and consists of future players that are currently ineligible to be active or on the roster.
“You’ve got redshirt football, which is a P.E. class that is not part of varsity football,” said Dr. Tim Drain, athletic director at TJC. “Then we’ve got, in football, two other areas. You’ve got those who are certified to play and compete, and Allen is on varsity football, but he is not certified to play. He is not going to play. So he ran what we call scout team. That’s the team that helps prepare the varsity team each week for who you’re going to play against.”
TJC Police were also on scene to assist Tyler PD during the arrests and are often called to assist other agencies from time to time.
“It was a Tyler PD initiated traffic stop for a traffic violation,” said Campus Police Chief Randy Melton. “Tyler PD dispatch contacted us and wanted us to go back them up, so we were just there for backup purposes for Tyler PD, but they made the two arrests,” said Melton.
At this time both Allen and Connor are out on bail from Smith County Jail.Connor was released on Oct. 28, and Allen was released on Oct. 29. It is still unclear what kind of administrative action will be taken against the students, but My TJC News will bring you the updates as they become available.