EAST ST. LOUIS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A FIREARM BY A PREVIOUSLY CONVICTED FELON
Dwon L. Lott, 37, of East St. Louis, Ill., pled guilty in United States District Court, East St. Louis, 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. The crime carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to 3 years’ supervised release to follow imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system. Sentencing is scheduled for October 21, 2011. Lott has been in custody since his arrest on May 25, 2011.
Court documents establish that on July 26, 2010, at 12:50 a.m., law enforcement officers were patrolling the Roosevelt Homes in East St. Louis, and as officers approached Building 1, Lott ran into an apartment leased by his then girlfriend. Officers went to the front door of the apartment where they were met by the girlfriend who provided written consent to search the apartment. Lott was located in the upstairs master bedroom and was arrested. Located in the top dresser drawer in the master bedroom was a Hi-Point, model C9, 9mm Luger semiautomatic pistol. It had a round in the chamber and four rounds in the magazine. Other items belonging to Lott were in the dresser drawer. Lott was convicted on January 10, 2005, in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii, of a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than one year.
Lott gave a voluntary statement following his arrest acknowledging possession of the firearm. He stated that when he ran into the residence, he grabbed the gun from the kitchen drawer and placed it in the bedroom drawer. The firearm was analyzed at the Illinois State Police crime laboratory and functions as designed.
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 is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Kit R. Morrissey.