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Eight Peoria Men Charged with Federal Gun Crimes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2010

Peoria, Ill. – A grand jury has charged eight local men with federal firearms offenses in an ongoing cooperative effort by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to combat violent crime in Peoria. The Peoria Police Department, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Illinois State Police are working together and with prosecutors in the Peoria Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois and the Peoria County State’s Attorney’s Office to address recent incidents of violence in Peoria.

“Felons cannot lawfully possess firearms,” stated U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office stands as a full and ready partner with local police and prosecutors, as we work together to enforce the law and to prevent further gun violence.”

Andrew L. Traver, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Chicago Field Division, stated, “These arrests are an example of ATF’s commitment to combating violent crime through the investigation and arrest of those who illegally possess firearms. These arrests further demonstrate ATF’s dedication to working with our State and Local law enforcement counterparts to identify the ‘worst of the worst’ illegally possessing firearms and to remove them from our neighborhoods.”

Seven of the defendants have been charged with possession of a firearm after being convicted of a felony or as a prohibited person; another is charged with possession of a sawed-off shotgun. If convicted, possession of a firearm by a felon or a prohibited person and possession of a sawed-off shotgun each carry a statutory penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

The indictments were returned in Peoria on Sept. 28; however, four of the indictments had remained sealed pending the defendants’ respective arrests and initial court appearances. Initial court appearances were held this afternoon for the four men arrested yesterday:

  • Kevin L. Beavers, 28, of the 2100 block of West Richwoods Blvd., charged with felon in possession of two firearms, a Lorcin .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol and a Titan .25 caliber pistol, on Aug. 22. Beavers is scheduled for a detention hearing tomorrow with trial scheduled on Dec. 13.
  • Raphael W. Patton, 32, of the 700 Block of West Nebraska St., charged with felon in possession of a firearm, a Ruger 9mm pistol on Aug. 11. Patton waived a detention hearing and was ordered detained pending trial scheduled on Nov. 29.
  • Anarbol Contreras, 54, of Peoria, charged with being a prohibited person (an alien) in possession of a firearm, a 9mm semi-automatic pistol on Aug. 1. Contreras waived detention hearing and was ordered detained pending trial scheduled on Dec. 13.
  • Joseph Hall, Jr., 25, of the 1700 block of W. Kettelle, charged with felon in possession of a firearm, a Glock.40 caliber pistol on Sept. 9, 2009. Hall waived detention hearing and was ordered detained pending trial scheduled on Dec. 13.

Four others previously charged in Peoria Circuit Court currently face federal charges and have appeared in federal court and been ordered to remain detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial. They include:

  • Melvin D. Turner, 22, of the 700 block of N.E. Adams, charged with felon in possession of a firearm, a .44 caliber revolver, on Jul 16. Turner is scheduled for trial on Dec. 6;
  • Timothy Thomas, 39, of the 2900 block of W. Starr St., charged with felon in possession of a firearm, a .38 caliber revolver, on Aug. 26. Thomas is scheduled for trial on Nov. 29;
  • Dietrich J. Richardson, 22, of the 200 block of S. Western, charged with felon in possession of a firearm, a .25 caliber pistol, and possession of a sawed-off .12 gauge shotgun, on Jun. 22. Richardson’s trial has been set for Nov. 29; and,
  • Todd D. Clark, 20, address unknown, charged with possession of a sawed-off .12 gauge shotgun, a stolen firearm, on Aug. 1. Clark’s trial date has been scheduled on Nov. 29.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The charges result from investigations conducted by the Peoria Police Department; the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Illinois State Police under the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhood program. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshals Service participated and provided assistance in the arrest of the defendants.

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