East St. Louis Man Sentenced for Firearm Offense
An East St. Louis man, Charles L. Thomas, 25, was sentenced today in United States District Court, East St. Louis, for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Previously Convicted Felon, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced. Thomas was sentenced to 18 months in prison, ordered to pay a $100 special assessment and to serve a term of 2 years of supervised release following imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system.
Court documents establish that on February 21, 2012, in St Clair County, an East St. Louis Police Officer initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Charles L. Thomas. During the traffic stop, the officer observed a black handgun in the split of the front bench seat. The firearm was determined to be a Hi Point, Model C9, 9mm semi-automatic pistol which contained 8 live rounds of 9 mm ammunition. Thomas agreed to an interview with law enforcement at which time he admitted that he was in possession of the firearm. Thomas stated that he had the gun for protection because one week prior he had been in an altercation with some individuals at a convenience store and that he and his friends intended to go back to that same convenience store on that night.
Court documents further establish that prior to February 21, 2012, Thomas had been convicted of a crime that was punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than one year.
The investigation was conducted by the WAVE Task Force. The WAVE Task Force focuses its efforts on combating violent crime in East St. Louis, Washington Park, and surrounding communities.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ali Summers.