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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 22, 2015

Four Indicted on Federal Gun Charges in Rock Island

Rock Island, Illinois - Four men have been indicted on separate federal gun charges in the Rock Island Division of the United States District Court, as announced by U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis, Central District of Illinois. A federal grand jury returned the indictments earlier this week but the charges remained sealed pending their arrests and court appearances.

Chavonte A. Bragg, 23, of the 900 block of 14th and ½ Street, Rock Island, IL, has been charged in a three-count indictment with possessing crack cocaine with intent to distribute, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  The indictment alleges that on April 22, 2015, Bragg possessed at least 28 grams of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute.  The indictment also alleges Bragg possessed a handgun in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and that Bragg possessed that handgun after having been previously convicted of a felony offense.  If convicted on all charges, the statutory maximum penalty is life in prison and a fine of up to $8,500,000.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Micah Reyner, and the charges are the result of an investigation by the Rock Island Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  Defendant Bragg appeared in federal court in Rock Island this morning for his initial appearance before U.S. District Judge Sara Darrow.  Bragg was also ordered to remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Walker Hampton, 40, of Viola, Ill., has been charged in a four-count indictment with robbery, brandishing a firearm during and in relation to the robbery, possession of stolen firearms, and being a felon in possession of firearms.  The indictment alleges that Hampton robbed two employees of the U.S. Post Office in Taylor Ridge, Ill., on Jan. 24, 2015, and that he brandished a handgun during and in relation to the robbery. The indictment further alleges that on Feb. 25, 2015, Hampton possessed stolen firearms and was a felon in possession of firearms. If convicted on all counts, Hampton faces a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison and a statutory maximum of life in prison, and a fine of up to $1,000,000.  Hampton was arrested on Feb. 25, on state charges in Mercer County, Illinois and will be transferred to federal custody to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Rock Island.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Micah Reyner; the charges are the result of an investigation by the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Office, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives.  Hampton appeared in federal court in Rock Island this morning for his initial appearance before U.S. District Judge Sara Darrow.  Hampton was also ordered to remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Kenneth Russell, 34, of the 500 block of 6th Street, Rock Island, Ill., has been charged with being a felon in possession of firearms. The indictment alleges that on April 16, 2015, Russell unlawfully possessed a handgun after having previously been convicted of a felony offense.  If convicted, the statutory maximum penalty is ten years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Micah Reyner, and the charges are the result of an investigation by the Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group, the Rock Island Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Jones appeared in federal court in Rock Island this afternoon for his initial appearance before U.S. District Judge Sara Darrow.

Brandon Willis McNeal, 24, of the 1600 block of 12th Avenue, Moline, Ill., was charged by the grand jury earlier this week with being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment remained sealed pending McNeal’s arrest. The indictment alleges that on Apr. 27, 2015, McNeal unlawfully possessed a handgun after having previously been convicted of a felony offense.  If convicted, the statutory maximum penalty is ten years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Mehochko, and the charges are the result of an investigation by the Moline Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  McNeal appeared in federal court in Rock Island this afternoon for his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen B. Jackson, Jr. McNeal was also ordered to remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Updated July 13, 2015