Federal Judge Sentences Man to Nearly Eight Years in Prison for Illegally Possessing Loaded Handgun in Chicago
CHICAGO — A Chicago man has been arrested on a federal firearm charge for allegedly illegally possessing a handgun equipped with a device converting it into an automatic weapon.
An indictment unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Chicago charges PARIS SHEPHERD, 31, with one count of illegal possession of a firearm. Shepherd had previously been convicted of a felony and was prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm.
The indictment accuses Shepherd of illegally possessing the loaded semiautomatic handgun in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood of Chicago on June 14, 2022. The gun was allegedly equipped with a conversion device, also known as a “Glock switch,” which transforms firearms into automatic weapons capable of shooting more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger.
Shepherd was arrested this morning. He is scheduled to make an initial appearance in federal court this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey T. Gilbert.
The indictment and arrest were announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Kristen de Tineo, 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 government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Margaret Steindorf and Paul Schied.
“The illegal possession of firearms equipped with conversion devices poses a grave threat to public safety,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch. “Our office is using every available federal law enforcement tool to keep dangerous weapons out of the wrong hands.”
Holding illegal firearm possessors 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, particularly firearm offenses.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The charge in the indictment is punishable by up to ten years in federal prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.