BELLEVILLE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FIREARM OFFENSE
On September 12, 2011, Kalvin Thomas, a thirty-six year old Belleville, IL, man pled guilty in Federal District Court, in 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. Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced on December 16, 2011, at which time he faces up to 10 years’ in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, not more than 3 years of supervised release after his prison term, and a $100 special assessment. Thomas also agreed to the forfeiture of the firearm.
Facts brought out in court showed that on April 12, 2010, law enforcement officers responded to an all-car broadcast regarding individuals with firearms standing near a truck in the area of 17 and State Streets th in East St. Louis. When law enforcement officers arrived at this area, they immediately noticed three individuals getting into a white truck, and a fourth individual standing outside of the truck. The law enforcement officers immediately ordered that each individual place their hands behind their heads. As each individual complied, one of these officers noticed that the front seat passenger, later identified as the Thomas, kept looking down at the area of the floor of the vehicle where he was seated. As this officer moved closer to the front door of the passenger side where Thomas was seated, the officer noticed in plain view, on the front floor board between Thomas’s feet, a hand gun, which was fully loaded, with one live round present in the chamber. Kalvin Thomas was then arrested. During a subsequent interview Thomas admitted that he had found the gun in an alley by his house a few weeks prior to his arrest. Thomas had previously been convicted of a committing a felony.
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 East St. Louis Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. 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.
This case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Daniel T. Kapsak for prosecution.