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Press Release

Chicago Man Sentenced to Three and a Half Years in Prison for Illegally Possessing Loaded Gun on City’s West Side

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — A Chicago man has been sentenced to three and a half years in federal prison for illegally possessing a loaded handgun in the city’s Austin neighborhood.

ALVIN WASHINGTON, 39, illegally possessed the firearm inside a restaurant in the 5100 block of West Chicago Avenue on May 12, 2020.  A Chicago Police Department Police Observation Device (“POD camera”) captured Washington holding the gun between his legs while sitting near a window in the restaurant.  CPD officers were dispatched to the restaurant, where they conducted a protective pat-down search of Washington and discovered the loaded gun in his waistband.

Washington had previously been convicted of multiple felonies, including a firearm-related offense, and was not legally allowed to possess the gun.

Washington pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of illegal possession of a firearm.  U.S. District Judge Gary S. Feinerman imposed the 42-month prison sentence Wednesday after a hearing in federal court in Chicago.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Kristen deTineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.  The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office provided valuable assistance.

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Saurish Appleby-Bhattacharjee of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Gun Crimes Prosecution Team.  The team works collaboratively with federal and local law enforcement to enhance the prosecution of illegal firearm possession in certain police districts in Chicago.

Holding illegal firearm possessors accountable through federal prosecution is also a centerpiece of Project Guardian and Project Safe Neighborhoods, the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction strategies.  In the Northern District of Illinois, U.S. Attorney Lausch and law enforcement partners have deployed the Guardian and PSN programs to attack a broad range of violent crime issues facing the district, particularly firearm offenses.

Updated April 15, 2021

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime