CHICAGO — A man has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for illegally possessing a loaded handgun on a Chicago street.
CIPRIANO RIVERA illegally possessed the gun on Sept. 28, 2019, near an alley in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. Rivera was driving his sport-utility vehicle when he fired several shots at an individual who was walking through the alley. Neither the individual nor anyone else was wounded. While speeding away from the area, Rivera tossed the gun out of the car window. Chicago Police officers a short time later pulled over the SUV and arrested Rivera. Bystanders near the scene of the shooting found the gun and alerted police.
Rivera, 36, of Villa Park, Ill., pleaded guilty last year to a federal charge of illegal possession of a firearm. Rivera had previously been convicted of multiple felony firearm offenses in state court and was prohibited by federal law from possessing the gun.
U.S. District Judge Ronald A. Guzman imposed the prison sentence Tuesday after a hearing in federal court in Chicago.
The sentence was 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.
“Defendant fired his gun to kill the man walking in the alley,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Yonan argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “These actions were egregious and placed numerous members of the public at grave risk, including the person defendant shot at and the people living nearby.”
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.