EAST ST. LOUIS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FIREARM OFFENSE
On July 6, 2011, Grazino Baker, a forty-five year old East St. Louis, Ill.-, man pled guilty to Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Previously Convicted Felon, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Baker is scheduled to be sentenced on October 21, 2011, in United States District Court in East St. Louis, at which time he faces a maximum potential sentence of up to ten years’ imprisonment; a fine of up to $250,000, and not more than three years of supervised release.
Facts brought out in court showed that on September 27, 2010, while patrolling in East St. Louis, WAVE agents saw Baker scuffling with a man outside of Club Rolex. As WAVE agents approached Baker, he fled into Club Rolex. As agents followed Baker into Club Rolex, they witnessed him attempt to hide a gun. After agents recovered the firearm, Baker was arrested. Baker then admitted to being a convicted felon.
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.