Man accused of possession of machine gun, unlawful carrying

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - A man was arrested for possession of a machine gun and unlawful carrying following a search warrant on Thursday, according to the probable cause affidavit.  

Chekir Bowers was arrested on the charges of possession of a machine gun, possession of marijuana, and unlawful carrying of a handgun.

On Thursday, officers with the South Bend Police Department's Strategic Focus Unit found a man with an active warrant at an apartment on North Falcon Street.

Another man at the residence was identified as Bowers.

According to police, Bowers is associated with a violent street gang in the area and was therefore a target of the police department's Group Violence Intervention Enforcement Action.

As Bowers was being handcuffed, an officer noticed he smelled strongly of marijuana, reports said.

Bowers said he was "high" without questioning, according to police.

Officers were granted a search warrant for the apartment on North Falcon Street and found a black loaded handgun ammunition magazine, a quantity of marijuana, a handgun under the stove, and a Glock branded handgun with an aftermarket device installed on it in a cabinet, reports said.

This device, often referred to as a "switch," converts a semi-automatic firearm into a fully automatic firearm, also known as a machine gun, police said.

Officers found two more handguns and two more ammunition magazines upstairs, reports said.

During an interview, the primary resident of the apartment told police Bowers was her boyfriend and that he sometimes stayed the night.

She said she has a valid permit to carry a handgun but didn't know what type of gun she owned, other than that it was probably black in color.

Other people who were at the apartment when police arrived told officers they were smoking marijuana, reports said.

Bowers told police he had touched one of the handguns found upstairs, according to case documents.

Bowers has a prior conviction for carrying a handgun without a license.

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