Belleville Man Pleads Guilty to Firearm Offense
A Belleville man, Shevon A. Martin, pleaded guilty in United States District Court, 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. Sentencing is scheduled for June 22, 2012. The charge carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both, up to 3 years’ supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. Martin remains on bond pending sentencing.
According to court documents, on August 24, 2011, members of the FBI WAVE Task Force were patrolling East St. Louis, Illinois, and approached the ZX convenience store located on Bond Avenue, a location well-known for open air drug dealing and weapon possession. When agents pulled onto the parking lot, the Defendant looked toward them before immediately turning and walking into the store where he hid a Sturm Ruger, 9mm semiautomatic pistol with a magazine containing one live 9mm round of ammunition in a display of “Rap Snacks,” a potato chip brand.
Martin has a prior felony conviction for Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon, which occurred on July 31, 2008, in the Circuit Court of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit, St. Clair County, Illinois.
The WAVE Task Force 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 gunrelated violence.