News and Press Releases


January 4, 2011

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on January 3, 2011, JIM L. SIMS, JR., age 36, of East St. Louis, Illinois, was sentenced in the United States District Court in East St. Louis to thirty-seven (37) months of imprisonment, three (3) years of supervised release, and was fined $250. SIMS had previously pled guilty on September 30, 2010, to possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.

The violation occurred on February 24, 2010, when agents working a detail in East St. Louis received information that a male in a green Buick had a firearm. When the officers spotted the vehicle, it was stopped after committing several traffic violations were observed. The driver of the vehicle gave the officers consent to search the car. Officers found a Ruger, 9mm semi-automatic pistol, in the vehicle’s glove compartment. The defendant was the front seat passenger in the vehicle. After the gun was found, the defendant immediately apologized to the driver and told the officers that the gun belonged to him. The defendant again admitted possession of the gun in a videotaped statement.

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, the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois (MEGSI), the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, the East St. Louis Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the United States Marshals Service. 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 was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Angela Scott.



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