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Press Release

Convicted Felon Sentenced to 8 Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing Handgun and Using It to Intimidate Ex-Girlfriend

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

CHICAGO — A federal judge has sentenced a convicted felon to eight years in prison for illegally possessing a handgun, which he used to intimidate his ex-girlfriend.

JOSEPH RILEY, 44, of Chicago, possessed the Sig Sauer P229 .40-caliber pistol on at least four occasions in 2015, according to his written plea agreement. During one of those occasions, Riley brandished the gun and used it to intimidate his ex-girlfriend, according to the plea agreement.

Riley was not lawfully allowed to possess the gun because he had prior felony convictions, including two felonies for illegally possessing firearms.

Riley pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon. U.S. District Judge John J. Tharp Jr. on Tuesday imposed the 96-month sentence in federal court in Chicago.

The sentence was announced by Joel R. Levin, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Celinez Nunez, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Chicago Police Department provided valuable assistance.

“Each instance in which defendant possessed the gun was dangerous and threatening,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew L. Kutcher argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. The government’s memorandum noted Riley’s prior firearm convictions and the seriousness of the current offense, and it requested that the Court impose the 96-month sentence, which was significantly above the advisory guideline range.

Updated June 14, 2017

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime