BELLEVILLE MAN RECEIVES TWO YEAR FEDERAL SENTENCE FOR UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A FIREARM BY AN UNLAWFUL USER OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
Jai Anderson, 29, of Belleville, IL, received a twenty-four month sentence following his plea of guilty to two counts of possessing a weapon while an unlawful user of a controlled substance, Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois announced today. Following service of his sentence, Anderson will be on federal supervised release for a term of three years.
The first violation occurred on November 20, 2008, when Belleville Police Officers went to Anderson’s residence as part of their investigation into another individual. Officers recovered three firearms from the residence, as well as items with cocaine residue on them. Anderson admitted possession of the guns, stating that he had them for protection. Anderson also admitted unlawfully using cocaine and Vicodin that had not been prescribed to him.
The second violation occurred on November 25, 2009, when members of the WAVE team went to Anderson’s residence after receiving a tip that someone was selling drugs from the home. The officers recovered two firearms, as well as powder cocaine and marihuana in Anderson’s bedroom closet. Anderson admitted possession of the two guns, stating that he got them from his mother’s house after the other guns were seized, and that he had them for protection. Finally, Anderson again admitted unlawfully using marihuana, powder cocaine and Vicodin that was not prescribed to him, all of which are controlled substances.
“Federal law prohibits unlawful users of controlled substances from possessing firearms. My office will use this and other federal statutes to prevent prohibited persons from having weapons. I am pleased that Anderson’s request for a sentence of probation was flatly rejected by the Court.” United States Attorney Wigginton stated.
The case was investigated by the Belleville Police Department. The case also resulted from the efforts of the WAVE (Working Against Violent Elements) Task Force, which focuses its efforts on combating violent crime in East St. Louis, Washington Park, and surrounding communities. WAVE was formed in November 2009, and is a collaboration of law enforcement officers from the Illinois State Police, the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois (MEGSI), the East St. Louis Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The WAVE Task Force receives financial support through the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative, a nationwide federal program which endeavors to address gun-related violence. The was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Angela Scott.