On July 9, 2021, at 11:28 AM, Deputy Jake Pisowicz was traveling westbound in the 4000 west block of US 20. He observed a westbound passenger vehicle traveling just ahead of him drive left of center. A short time later, Deputy Pisowicz initiated a traffic stop along US 20.
The driver was identified as Mustafaa S. EL’MALIK (22 YOA) of Gary, Indiana. The passenger was identified as Justin J. BURNSIDE (25 YOA), also from Gary. During a roadside conversation with EL’MALIK and BURNSIDE, Deputy Pisowicz quickly established probable cause that criminal activity was afoot.
After Deputy Wade Wallace arrived to assist, EL’MALIK and BURNSIDE were removed from the vehicle. The deputies then proceeded to conduct a vehicle search.
A total of three firearms were located during the search – one of which was confirmed to have been reported as stolen to the Schererville Police Department. The following firearms were seized: a black Glock 21 .45 caliber pistol with an extended magazine containing 27 rounds of ammunition, a loaded black H&K USP 9mm pistol with 18 rounds in the magazine and a loaded black Canik 9mm pistol with 18 rounds in the magazine.
Deputy Pisowicz transported EL’MALIK, and Deputy Wallace transported BURNSIDE, both to the La Porte County Jail (LCJ).
EL’MALIK was arrested for Theft of a Firearm (Level 6 Felony) and Carrying a Handgun without a License (Class A Misdemeanor). He was released from the LCJ the same day after a cash bond was posted on his behalf.
BURNSIDE was arrested for Carrying a Handgun without a License (Class A Misdemeanor). He was also released from the LCJ the same day after posting a cash bond.
Arrests and criminal charges are mere accusations. Every person is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.