CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Five friends are facing weapons charges after the State’s Attorney’s Office said police found them in possession of guns despite being convicted felons.

The five arrested are Jalen Booker, 21, Demonte Billings, 22, Omarion Purnell, 20, Joaquin Hughes, 20, and Simeon Smith, 18. Champaign County Assistant State’s Attorney Dan Reynolds said in court on Thursday that the five were all together in an apartment on Tuesday when officers chased a car to that apartment and found the five inside with guns. One of the guns was a ghost gun with no serial number.

All five are being held at the Champaign County Jail.

The arrests happened as a result of an investigation into the group by the Champaign Police Department. Officers discovered a photo on Booker’s Instagram account of him with a gun and subsequently went looking his Booker’s car, which they discovered had a suspended license plate.

When officers found the car and attempted to pull it over, whoever was driving it sped away. Officers later found the car abandoned outside the Nantucket Cove apartments on Moreland Boulevard. Officers watched an apartment at that address and arrested Booker when he came out of it.

Officers took the other four into custody when they were found inside. The renter of the apartment told officers his bedroom door had been locked and he was unaware of any guns in the apartment when he left for work that day. No guns were found in his room.

In addition to the guns, officers found a small amount of marijuana and pills inside the apartment.

In court on Thursday, Judge Brett Olmstead arraigned the five on several charges. Other information about each person is listed:

  • Booker: Possession of a gun without a FOID card (a Class 3 felony). In addition, Booker has a pending armed violence and unlawful use of weapons case. Bond was set at $250,000 and he is due back in court on Nov. 10.
  • Billings: Unlawful use of a weapon by a felon (a class 3 felony that carries a mandatory prison sentence). Billings has a previous conviction for possession with intent to distribute marijuana, which he is still on probation for. Bond was set at $100,000 and he is due back in court on Nov. 16.
  • Purnell: Possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon by a felon on parole (Class 2 felonies that carry mandatory prison terms). Purnell has a juvenile adjudication for residential burglary and an adult conviction for possession of a weapon. Bond was set at $50,000 and he is due back in court on Friday with an appointed attorney.
  • Hughes: Unlawful use of a weapon by a felon (a Class 2 felony with a mandatory prison term). Hughes has previous convictions for mob action as a juvenile and possession of a gun for which he is currently on probation. Bond was set at $10,000 and he is due back in court on Friday with an appointed attorney.
  • Smith: Possession of a weapon Possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon by a felon on parole (Class 2 felonies that carry mandatory prison terms). Smith has previous convictions for mob action and possession of a weapon as both a juvenile and an adult. Bond was set at $50,000 and he is due back in court on Nov. 30.