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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A routine traffic stop last week led to the seizure of a sawed-off shotgun and felony weapons-related charges against a Rochester man.

The criminal complaint against 22-year-old Eugene Washington says the traffic stop that led to the charges took place last Thursday on the East Frontage Road along Highway 52 near John Marshall High School after a State Trooper saw another motorist across the centerline on the roadway and into the trooper's lane of traffic. The trooper indicated he turned around and followed the vehicle into an apartment parking lot and two men exited the vehicle when he turned on his emergency lights.

Olmsted County ADC photo
Olmsted County ADC photo
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The court document says both men took off running while a third man was getting out of the vehicle. Once backup arrived at the scene, the trooper looked into the vehicle and spotted a 22.5-inch long sawed-off shotgun in plain view on the backseat. The man who was being detained told the trooper the gun belonged to "EJ."

It was determined the shotgun was loaded and did not have a serial number. Next to the weapon, police found a bag with additional shotgun shells and a Minnesota ID for Eugene Kay Anthony Washington. The man detained at the scene then stated that he had been driving the vehicle and he had picked up Washington, who was carrying a black bag, at a gas station on 7th Street.

Eugene Washington criminal complaint - Olmsted County Court
Eugene Washington criminal complaint - Olmsted County Court
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The criminal complaint says the same State Trooper later pulled over another vehicle for expired registration on 19th Street Northwest and immediately recognized Washington as the backseat passenger. It states Washington initially denied being in the other vehicle and running from the trooper but later acknowledged he was in the backseat when the first traffic stop took place. The court record says Washington also denied knowing about the gun but later told the trooper he held the shotgun earlier in the night when he and two others were trying to buy it.

Washington is currently being held in the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center on $100,000 bail. His next court appearance is scheduled on May 18.

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