Cahokia Man Pleads Guilty to Firearm Offense
A Cahokia man, Jamal A. Burgess, 28, 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 29, 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. Burgess remains in custody pending sentencing.
According to court documents, on November 30, 2011, members of the FBI WAVE (Working Against Violent Elements) task force were patrolling East St. Louis, Illinois, within the Southern District of Illinois, and responded to a report involving the recovery of a stolen vehicle at the Orr Weathers Public Housing Complex, Building 21, and a potential suspect running into Building 21. Members of the task force knocked on the door of apartment 21D based upon their suspicion that the suspect ran into apartment 21D, and were met by Willie Fair and the leaseholder of the apartment who told officers that Jamal Burgess was in an upstairs bedroom. During a search, officers seized four firearms, magazines and numerous rounds of ammunition. One of the firearms was recovered from under the mattress in which Jamal Burgess was resting. That weapon was a sawed-off shotgun. Burgess admitted possession of this firearm. Fair admitted possession of one of the other firearms. Fair is also pending sentencing in federal court.
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.
The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Kit Morrissey.