Washington Park Man Pleads Guilty to Firearm Offense
Joshua Hamilton, 28, of Washington Park, Illinois, pled guilty on October 24, 2012, in Federal Court 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. Hamilton is scheduled to be sentenced on February 8, 2013, at which time he faces a maximum potential sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, not more than 3 years of supervised release after his prison term, and a mandatory $100 special assessment. Hamilton also agreed to the forfeiture of the firearm.
Court proceedings revealed that on November 29, 2011, law enforcement officers approached a green Chevrolet in which Hamilton was a passenger. After obtaining consent to search the vehicle from the owner, law enforcement located a firearm between the front passenger seat and the armrest. Hamilton agreed to a videotaped interview during which he admitted that the weapon belonged to him.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Illinois State Police. 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, Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois (MEGSI), the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, the East St. Louis Police Department, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the United States Marshals Service (USMS). 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.
Special Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew Brooks and Kelly Snyder have handled the prosecution.