Gun Shots in East St. Louis Result in Guilty Plea by High Ridge, Missouri, Man
A High Ridge, Missouri, resident pled guilty to the charge of illegally possessing a firearm when he was a previously convicted felon, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton announced today. Arlanda Antonio Jones, 31, was indicted by a federal grand jury on August 18, 2010. Jones is being held without bond.
According to court documents, on May 4, 2010, agents working the WAVE (Working Against Violent Elements) detail in East St. Louis had a tip that drugs were sold out of a residence on North 45th Street. Agents went to the address and saw a number of people standing around in the yard. As agents approached, they heard a gun shot. After taking cover, the agents cuffed all of the bystanders and began to investigate. Agents found a firearm on the ground in the back yard of the home. The firearm, a .380-caliber, Hi-Point, semi-automatic pistol, was loaded with ammunition. Jones admitted to possessing the firearm, and that he knew that he was not allowed to possess a firearm because of his prior felony conviction (Jones had a prior felony conviction for Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Missouri). The Illinois State Police crime lab found Jones’s DNA on the firearm.
At his sentencing, Jones faces a maximum sentence of ten (10) years’ in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both, and three (3) years’ supervised release. The sentencing hearing is set for March 16, 2012.
This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois (MEGSI). The case 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, MEGSI, the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, the East St. Louis Police Department, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the United States Marshals Service (USMS). 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 case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Liam Coonan.