Alton Man Sentenced for Firearm Offense
Elijah Woods, 28, from Alton, Ill., was sentenced on April 13, 2012, in District Court in East St. Louis, IL, on one count of 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.
Woods was sentenced to 96 months in prison, 3 years of supervised release, a $375 fine and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment. He also forfeited the firearm. Woods, who had previously pled guilty, admitted that he had possessed the gun, knowing that he was a convicted felon and that it was illegal for him to have the gun.
The investigation began on September 19, 2010, when Alton police officers were on patrol in the area of Wescot Street and Central Avenue in Alton, Illinois. While stopped at a stop sign, the officers noticed a vehicle pass by them from which the smell of marijuana was emanating. As a result, the officers proceeded to conduct a traffic stop of the vehicle. At the time of this traffic stop, Elijah Woods was present in the rear passenger side of the vehicle. As the officers exited their patrol car, they saw the front seat passenger get out of the stopped vehicle. One of the officers immediately ordered the passenger back into the vehicle. As the officer stated this command, Woods exited from the rear passenger seat of the stopped vehicle, and began walking away from the police officer. The officer immediately yelled to Woods, “Police, stop walking away.” Woods then looked over his shoulder and replied to the officer, “I don’t need to stop.” At that time, the police officer began pursuit of Woods, which was unsuccessful. As this pursuit began, the front seat passenger stated, “He (Woods) has a gun.” This passenger then peered back into the back of the vehicle and stated, “Never mind. He (Woods) dropped the gun in the backseat.” The officers then observed the firearm, which was fully loaded, on the floorboard behind the front passenger seat of the vehicle, where Woods had been sitting, and recovered it. Shortly before this incident, the driver and front seat passengers in the vehicle had picked up Woods, who they knew as “Chris Taylor,” in front of the Cowboy Market in Alton. Upon entering into the vehicle, Woods possessed the aforementioned recovered firearm. Following the traffic stop of this vehicle by Alton Police Officers, Woods placed the firearm on the floorboard below the rear passenger seat in the vehicle before fleeing. Prior to September 19, 2010, the Defendant had been convicted of a crime that was punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than one year.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Alton, IL, Police Department.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel T. Kapsak.