CHICAGO — A man has been sentenced to more than nine years in federal prison for illegally possessing ammunition near Garfield Park on Chicago’s West Side.
RODNEY BURNETT, 25, of Chicago, illegally possessed four rounds of .40-caliber ammunition on May 15, 2018. Burnett, driving a stolen vehicle and fleeing the area where a shooting had recently occurred, led Chicago Police on a high-speed chase that ended when he crashed his car at the intersection of Hamlin and Jackson Boulevards near Garfield Park. Burnett and two passengers in his vehicle then fled on foot and discarded two firearms. CPD officers apprehended them a short time later.
Burnett pleaded guilty to a federal charge of illegal possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. He had previously been convicted in state court of a felony criminal offense and was not legally allowed to possess ammunition or a firearm.
U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee on April 27, 2021, imposed a 110-month federal prison sentence. Judge Lee found that, in addition to possessing the ammunition, the government met its burden in proving that Burnett possessed a firearm and was involved in the nearby shooting that preceded the vehicular chase.
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 Field Office of the FBI; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katie M. Durick.
Holding illegal firearm possessors accountable through federal prosecution is also a centerpiece of Project Guardian and Project Safe Neighborhoods, the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction strategies. In the Northern District of Illinois, U.S. Attorney Lausch and law enforcement partners have deployed the Guardian and PSN programs to attack a broad range of violent crime issues facing the district, particularly firearm offenses.