East St. Louis Man Pleads Guilty to Firearm Offense
On January 24, 2013, Joseph L. Edwards, a 25 year old East St. Louis, Illinois, man pled guilty in United States Federal District Court, in 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. Edwards is scheduled for sentencing on May 20, 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 special assessment of $100. Edwards also agreed to the forfeiture of the firearm.
Court proceedings revealed that on October 25, 2011, law enforcement officers approached a residence in East St. Louis, Illinois, to investigate an anonymous tip regarding the firing of guns at the home. As officials approached, an officer heard a woman standing on the porch of the home tell Edwards, who was still inside the home, “The feds are here.” An officer spotted Edwards going to the rear of the home and later returning to the front of the house. The officer also noticed a strong marijuana odor coming from the home. After obtaining consent to search the residence from the property owner, who was present, law enforcement located a firearm on a bedroom floor in the rear of the residence. Edwards admitted to taking the gun to the rear of the house and leaving it on a back bedroom floor. Prior to October 25, 2011, Edwards had been convicted of a crime that was punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than one year.
This case was investigated by 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.
This case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Daniel T. Kapsak for prosecution.