East St. Louis Man Pleads Guilty to Marijuana and Firearm Charges
An East St. Louis man, indicted in June, 2011, on charges of Manufacture of Marijuana and Possession of a Firearm by a Previously Convicted Felon, has pled guilty in United States District Court in East St. Louis, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Leonard Spencer, Jr., 38, entered his pleas of guilty to both counts on January 30, 2012. Spencer also admitted the forfeiture allegation contained in the indictment and agreed to forfeit numerous firearms and ammunition to the United States.
Spencer is scheduled to be sentenced at 9:00 a.m. on June 1, 2012, at which time, he faces a possible penalty of not more than five (5) years in prison, a fine of not more than $250,000.00, and at least two years of supervised release on the marijuana count; and a possible penalty of not more than ten (10) years in prison, a fine of not more than $250,000, and not more than three years of supervised release on the firearm count. Each count also carries a mandatory special assessment of $100.
According to the Stipulation of Facts that was filed with the Court at the time of the guilty pleas, agents of the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois (MEGSI) observed fourteen marijuana plants growing in the Spencer’s backyard. Agents searched the Spencer’s residence and recovered a KBI 7.62 x 39mm caliber semiautomatic rifle, model SKS-45, a Remington 12 gauge pump action shotgun, a CMMG 223 REM 5.56mm caliber semiautomatic rifle, a Masterpiece Arms MPA10T, .45 ACP caliber semiautomatic pistol, seventy-five rounds of .223 ammunition; assorted loose ammunition; and a cup containing marijuana seeds. Spencer confirmed to agents that the firearms were his.
Evidence in support of the indictment was obtained in an investigation which was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois (MEGSI). This case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Randy G. Massey for prosecution.