CHICAGO — A man has been sentenced to nearly eight years in federal prison for illegally possessing a loaded semiautomatic handgun and resisting police during a traffic stop in Chicago.
DEONTA CARSON, 26, of Chicago, illegally possessed the gun on the afternoon of March 2, 2020, in the Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. Chicago Police officers pulled over Carson’s vehicle for having a broken taillight near the intersection of West 71st Street and South Morgan Street. Carson resisted officers’ commands to get out of the car, and then struggled with the officers when they tried to remove him. As one of the officers pulled Carson from the vehicle, the gun fell to the ground.
Carson had previously been convicted in state court of multiple felonies and was not legally allowed to possess a gun. He was on parole for a vehicular hijacking conviction at the time of the federal offense.
Carson pleaded guilty in the federal case to a charge of illegal firearm possession. U.S. District Judge Ronald A. Guzman imposed a prison sentence of seven years and eleven months after a hearing Jan. 19, 2023, in federal court in Chicago.
The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.
“It is not acceptable for felons to carry guns under any circumstances,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles W. Mulaney argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “Had the officers not been so experienced or skilled, the struggle could have resulted in much greater harm to themselves or defendant.”
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.