UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – The Utica Police Department reports that a man has been arrested for criminal weapons charges after allegedly being caught with a gun that was reported stolen by the Ilion Police Department in May of 2021.

Around 11:00 am on Sunday, officers were patrolling in the area of Francis and Noyes Streets when they allegedly saw a man, who would later be identified as 26-year-old Raheem Hightower of Utica, walking on the sidewalk. The officers claim that when Hightower saw them, he “appeared to tense up.” He then allegedly removed a bag from his shoulder, dropped it over a fence, and continued walking down Noyes Street.

Due to recent gun violence in the area and after witnessing Hightower’s alleged actions, the officers decided to investigate the fenced area and find the bag that Hightower discarded. Upon finding the bag, they were allegedly able to see the end of a handgun sticking out.

The weapon was seized, and the officers radioed for other patrol units in the area to be on the lookout for anyone fitting Hightower’s description. Shortly after, Hightower was located near Francis Street and Tracy Street and was detained without incident. 

After further investigation, the weapon’s serial number revealed it had been reported stolen by the Ilion Police Department in May of 2021.

Raheem Hightower of Utica has been arrested and charged with the following:

  • Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree
  • Criminal Possession of a Firearm
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree

The Utica Police Department says that additional charges are expected. Eyewitness News will update you with any new information as it is released.