EAST ST. LOUIS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FIREARM OFFENSE
On September 15, 2011, Eric Humphries, a thirty-eight year old East St. Louis, 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. Humphries is scheduled to be sentenced on January 16, 2012, 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. Humphries also agreed to the forfeiture of the firearm.
Facts brought out in open court were that on February 20, 2011, WAVE officers were patrolling in the area of 12 and College Street in th East St. Louis, Illinois. During this patrol, the officers noticed four people sitting in a parked vehicle, with two additional people standing next to the vehicle. One of the individuals standing outside of the vehicle was Humphries. As the officers pulled their vehicle in behind the aforementioned vehicle, one police officer heard one individual turn his head toward Humphries and yell “feds.” This police officer then witnessed Humphries reach for his right front pocket area as he turned to walk away. Humphries then stepped behind a tree and out of the sight of the police officer. As the police officer began to walk toward the tree where Humphries was located, he reemerged from behind the tree and informed the police officer that he had been urinating there. When the police officer proceeded to the area behind the tree where Humphries had been standing, the police officer recovered a Taurus .38 caliber revolver lying near the base of the tree. Humphries was then arrested.. He subsequently admitted that he had placed the gun in the area behind the tree to avoid police detection; that he had taken the gun from his father without permission; and that he was 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 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.