EAST ST. LOUIS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FIREARM OFFENSE
Corey Smith, 36, of East St. Louis, IL, pled guilty in United States District Court, East St. Louis, to 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 possible sentence 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. The date of sentencing has not been announced. Smith has been in custody since his arrest on May 7, 2011.
Court documents establish that on May 7, 2011, law enforcement was patrolling East St. Louis near Officer/McBride Park. Officers noticed a group of several men standing around the park. They approached the men and engaged them in small talk. An officer noticed that Smith got up from the picnic table where he had been sitting and walked to a trash can where he reached into the trash and placed a partially full bottle of beer in it. Smith then picked up a white shopping bag from inside the trash can, put it back in the trash can, and walked away from it.
An officer looked into the trash can and asked Smith why he threw away good beer. Smith told the officer to hand him the bottle and he would finish the beer. The officer handed the beer to Smith. The officer then reached into the trash can, picked up the white shopping bag, and found a loaded CDM .22 caliber six-shot revolver under the bag.
During a post-arrest voluntary interview, Smith admitted possession of the firearm. The firearm was manufactured in Pennsylvania and assembled in New York, New York, thus it had to have traveled in interstate commerce to be in Illinois when Smith possessed it on May 7, 2011.
Smith was previously convicted of a felony punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, namely: Felon in Possession of a Firearm, in the U.S. District Court, Criminal Number 08- CF-30104-GPM, on December 1, 2008, and is thus prohibited from possessing firearms. He was on supervised release for the 2008 offense at the time of the instant offense. Smith was sentenced on October 3, 2011, to a term of imprisonment of one year and one day for violating his supervised release.
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 Marshal 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.