EAST ST. LOUIS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A FIREARM BY A PREVIOUSLY CONVICTED FELON
Aaron Hull, 46, 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, and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition by a Previously Convicted , the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Each crime carries a sentence of not less than 15 years’ imprisonment up to life 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 December 16, 2011. Hull has been in custody since his arrest on March 20, 2011.
Court documents establish that on March 20, 2011, at 8:00 p.m., law enforcement officers responded to a 911 call of a disturbance involving a man with a firearm, wearing dark clothes and a silver hat, and driving a white Mazda Millenium. While driving on Gaty Avenue, law enforcement observed Hull, who matched the description provided by the 911 caller, driving a white Mazda Millenium with a passenger in the front passenger seat. While following the Mazda, law enforcement observed Hull commit traffic violations and then pull into a vacant yard next to the driveway of his passenger’s residence on Gaty Avenue. Hull tossed a Rossi, .32 Smith and Wesson Long Caliber, six shot revolver bearing serial number C154551 from the driver’s side window. The revolver was recovered by law enforcement and was loaded with five live rounds and one spent .32 caliber shell casing in the cylinder. In the backseat of the Mazda, law enforcement recovered a silver hat. Under the silver hat was a plastic bag of approximately 27 rounds of ammunition with the markings P M C 32 S & W L on the head stamp. Following arrest and waiver of Miranda rights, the Hull admitted possession of both the Rossi revolver and the ammunition in the plastic bag.
The Rossi revolver and the ammunition were submitted to ATF for analysis. Expert analysis established that the Rossi revolver is a “firearm,” and the ammunition is “ammunition,” as defined in Title 18 of the United States Code. Expert analysis also established that both the Rossi revolver and the ammunition were not manufactured in Illinois, and thus, both traveled in and affected foreign and/or interstate commerce to be present in Illinois when the Defendant possessed them on March 20, 2011.
Hull was previously convicted of a felony punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, namely: Retail Theft, in Cause Number 09CF917 in the Circuit Court of St. Clair County, Illinois, on December 21, 2009, and is thus prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.
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.