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One arrested after manhunt in Benton

Benton News
updated: 4/11/2018 8:56 AM

A night-long manhunt in Benton resulted in the arrest of a Decatur man allegedly in possession of ammunition and drugs.

Benton Police say they arrested Philip Joshu, 37, following a sequence of events that began the evening of April 5. At around 8:45 p.m. that night, officers were requested for assistance by the West Frankfort Police Department, which was pursuing a fleeing driver reportedly armed with a handgun northbound on Rt. 37.

Upon entering Benton, the suspect turned westbound on Hudelson Street, left the roadway west of the intersection of Hudelson and Du Quoin streets, and came to a rest on the railroad tracks. The driver fled on foot into the woods near Benton Park.  Officers conducted searches and investigated leads throughout the night.

At about 7:45 a.m. the next morning, an off-duty officer from the West City Police Department spotted the suspect near Greenwood Street on the southeast side of town. Local schools were requested to go on lockdown as a precaution. Officers ultimately located the suspect, capturing him near the 1000 block of South Mcleansboro Street.

During the arrest, a handbag was recovered containing ammunition and a significant amount of narcotics. Approximately 2 pounds of suspected methamphetamine, a half-pound of marijuana, 30 grams of mushrooms and suspected LSD were seized.  Police say the methamphetamine has an approximate street value of $80,000.

Also that morning, an Ameren employee reported finding a handgun just off Rt. 37 south of Benton. This was a .45 caliber pistol later determined to be stolen out of Christian County.

Joshu is being held at the Franklin County Jail on an arrest warrant out of Macon County for a weapons offense. The investigation continues, and further charges are pending at this time.