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Press Release

Freeport Woman Guilty of “Straw Purchasing” Firearms on Behalf of Convicted Felon

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

ROCKFORD — A Freeport, Ill., woman admitted in federal court today that she “straw purchased” multiple firearms for a convicted felon whom she knew could not legally purchase the guns.

FELICYA KNOX, 31, pleaded guilty to making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms.  Knox faces a maximum sentence of ten years in federal prison.  Sentencing is set for May 10, 2023, at 9:00 a.m., before U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard in Rockford.

Knox admitted in a plea agreement that on multiple dates she knowingly made false and fictitious written statements to a firearms dealer in connection with the acquisition of the firearms.  She then transferred those guns to a known felon whom Knox knew could not legally purchase or possess them.

The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Jeffrey L. Matthews, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.  The Stephenson County Sheriff’s Office and the Freeport Police Department assisted in the investigation.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica S. Maveus.

Disrupting illegal firearms trafficking is the focus of the Department of Justice’s Chicago Firearms Trafficking Strike Force.  As part of the strike force, the U.S. Attorney’s Office collaborates with ATF and other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in the Northern District of Illinois and across the country to help stem the supply of illegally trafficked firearms and identify patterns, leads, and potential suspects in violent gun crimes.

Holding firearm offenders accountable through federal prosecution is also a centerpiece of Project Safe Neighborhoods.  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.

Updated November 28, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Firearms Offenses