PEORIA, Ill. – A Peoria, Illinois, man, Terrance T. Dotson, 50, of the 1600 block of South Livingston Street, was sentenced on July 20, 2023, to 48 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for possessing a firearm and ammunition as a felon.
At the sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid, the government presented evidence that in August 2022 a Peoria County Sheriff’s Deputy saw an SUV driven by Dotson veer off the road and strike a mailbox. An officer pulled Dotson over and, while approaching the SUV during the traffic stop, saw Dotson reach into the backseat area where another person was seated. An officer then shined his flashlight on the backseat and saw a handgun laying next to the passenger. Officers removed Dotson and others from the SUV and he was placed in the backseat of a police car. Officers later opened the door to talk to Dotson and saw him kicking at something on the floor that was then determined to be an ammunition magazine loaded with the same type of ammunition found in the gun in the SUV.
A complaint was filed against Dotson in August 2022, and a federal grand jury returned an indictment in September 2022. A superseding indictment followed in February 2023. Dotson pleaded guilty in March 2023. He has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since the complaint was filed.
The statutory penalties for possessing a firearm as a felon are up to 15 years’ imprisonment, a possible $250,000 fine, and up to a three-year term of supervised release.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Peoria County Sheriff’s Department; and the Peoria Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna represented the government in the prosecution.
The case against Dotson is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.