Franklin Co. Troopers find three guns wrapped in a towel hidden in car stopped by officers

13 December 2023- A North Carolina man is facing major gun charges following a traffic stop in Marion over the weekend. Ravon Lavar Nelson is charged with three felony counts of firearms carried without a license, misdemeanor marijuana possession, and three traffic violations including driving on a suspended license. Nelson is behind bars in Franklin County Jail on $150,000 bail.

PSP Troopers were on regular patrol of I-81 around mile marker 9 in Franklin County when they reportedly spotted a black Mercedes sedan with heavily tinted windows that officers believed may have been a violation. After the vehicle got off the interstate and turned onto side streets near Marion, officers conducted a traffic stop.

When Troopers approached the vehicle, they spoke to Ravon Nelson of Charlotte, NC, according to his South Carolina driver’s license. An initial search of that license found that it was suspended. Nelson reportedly told officers that “he was going somewhere in Pennsylvania but was not sure of the town”. When asked why he got off at the exit he did, Nelson allegedly told Troopers “he was on the phone and needed to get his cousin’s car washed”.

Troopers say that during questioning, Nelson acted suspicious and made numerous statements saying that he was a good person. When asked about illegal items in his vehicle, Nelson said he didn’t have anything but that officers could not search his vehicle. It was at this point that Troopers called in a drug sniffing dog to smell the outside of his car, to which the dog allegedly showed signs of illegal substances.

Officers were able to obtain a search warrant for the vehicle and a search was conducted at around 7:45pm that day. Inside of the spare tire compartment of the truck, Troopers allegedly found a black and yellow bag as well as a towel. Wrapped in the towel, Troopers reportedly found a black Glock 19, a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, and a silver Ruger LCP .380 as well as ammunition and magazines for the guns. The Ruger was found to have been stolen from North Carolina. Additionally, police allegedly found three grams of weed in the vehicle.

Ravon Nelson is behind bars on $150,000 bail. His preliminary hearing is set for December 19th.

Sources: Docket Number: MJ-39303-CR-0000167-2023, Incident No.: PA 2023-1607291