Bloomington Man Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Illegal Possession of a Firearm
PEORIA, Ill. – A Bloomington, Illinois, man, Jose Luis Arizmendi-Romero, 33, of the 800 block of East Wood Street, was sentenced today to 30 months’ imprisonment for possessing a firearm as an undocumented immigrant.
According to court documents, Bloomington Police, knowing there was an outstanding arrest warrant against Arizmendi-Romero, attempted a traffic stop on June 23, 2021. Arizmendi-Romero backed his car into a police car and then sped away, eventually crashing his car. He later returned to his residence, and police obtained a search warrant. The search uncovered a 9-millimeter handgun and 52 rounds of 9-millimeter ammunition along with drug paraphernalia.
At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Court Judge James E. Shadid noted the danger inherent in the possession of firearms combined with drug activity. Judge Shadid also found that Arizmendi-Romero obstructed justice when he fled from officers and that his reckless flight created a substantial risk of serious injury.
Arizmendi-Romero was indicted on the federal charge of possession of a firearm by an alien illegally in the United States in October 2021 and pleaded guilty to the charge in December 2021. He has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals since his indictment.
The statutory penalties for the offense are up to 10 years’ imprisonment and up to three years of supervised release, along with forfeiture of the handgun.
The Bloomington Police Department and the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Hollingshead-Cook represented the government in the prosecution.
The case against Arizmendi-Romero was brought as part of The Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative. The Department’s renewed commitment to Project Safe Neighborhoods establishes four fundamental principles to guide efforts to reduce violent crime: 1) build trust and legitimacy within communities; 2) invest in community-based prevention and intervention programs; 3) target enforcement and priorities to focus resources on identifying, investigating, and prosecuting the most significant drivers of gun violence and other violent crime; and, 4) measure results with the goal to reduce the level of violence in our communities and not to increase the number of arrests and prosecutions as if they were ends in themselves.