Convicted Felon Sentenced to Nearly 7 Years in Prison for Illegally Possessing Loaded Gun and 61 Rounds of Ammunition
CHICAGO — A convicted felon has been sentenced to nearly seven years in federal prison for illegally possessing a loaded handgun and 61 rounds of ammunition in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago.
ANTONIO BROWN, 25, of Chicago, illegally possessed the gun and two extended-capacity magazines in the 7500 block of South Dante Avenue on Sept. 22, 2018. Brown was in the front passenger seat of a stolen vehicle that had been pulled over by officers from the Chicago Police Department. He initially tried to hide the gun and ammunition under his seat to avoid detection, but the officers discovered the items during an ensuing search of the vehicle.
Brown was not legally allowed to possess a firearm after previously being convicted in state court of the attempted armed robbery of a nail salon. He was released from state prison seven months before the traffic stop.
Brown pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon. U.S. District Judge Ronald A. Guzman imposed the 82-month sentence Thursday in federal court in Chicago.
The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI; and Charlie Beck, interim Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.
“In a city plagued by traumatic injuries and death from bullets being indiscriminately sprayed on the street, the public is truly fortunate that CPD was able to interdict defendant and seize his arsenal before any harm could come to anyone,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Devlin N. Su argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “By illegally packing a devastating amount of firepower, defendant dramatically increased the risk of violence to the community.”
According to evidence and arguments presented to the Court during the federal case, Brown has appeared in several music videos and photographs posted on YouTube or Facebook holding handguns equipped with laser sights and extended-capacity magazines similar to the type he possessed during the traffic stop. Brown is frequently seen in the videos and photos aiming the guns directly at the camera.
Holding convicted felons accountable through federal prosecution is a centerpiece of Project Safe Neighborhoods – the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction strategy. In the Northern District of Illinois, U.S. Attorney Lausch and law enforcement partners have deployed the PSN program to attack a broad range of violent crime issues facing the district, including by prosecuting individuals who illegally possess firearms. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also participates in Project Guardian, an initiative from the Department of Justice that serves as a complementary effort to the success of PSN. Project Guardian focuses specifically on investigating, prosecuting, and preventing gun crimes, and it emphasizes the importance of using modern technologies to promote gun crime intelligence.