Belleville man charged with illegally possessing an AK-47

Rynaldo V. Cotton
Rynaldo V. Cotton Provided

A traffic stop resulted in gun charges when Fairview Heights Police stopped a car Monday night.

Rynaldo V. Cotton, 23, of Belleville, was stopped near Illinois 161 and St. Clair Avenue at about 11:30 p.m. Monday, according to a statement by the Fairview Heights Police Department. The officer noticed a long box in the backseat that contained what police said was an AK-47 rifle.

Cotton had a revoked firearm owner identification card, police said, and was taken into custody. The rifle had one round in the chamber and was ready to fire, police said; a full magazine was found in the center console.

Cotton was charged with one count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He remained in custody Wednesday afternoon in the St. Clair County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald