Man Sentenced to Six Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing Loaded Gun on Chicago Street
CHICAGO — A man has been sentenced to six years in federal prison for illegally possessing a loaded handgun on a Chicago street.
DONTA BAKER illegally possessed the gun on the evening of July 24, 2020, in the 2100 block of West 68th Street in Chicago’s West Englewood neighborhood. Chicago Police officers observed Baker standing on a sidewalk tugging at an object in his waistband and approached him to conduct an investigatory stop. Baker ran from the officers and tossed the gun over a fence into a residential backyard. The officers apprehended him a short time later.
Baker, 38, of Chicago, pleaded guilty in June to a federal charge of illegal possession of a firearm. Baker had previously been convicted of multiple firearm-related felonies in state court and was prohibited by federal law from possessing the gun. After pleading guilty and awaiting sentencing in the federal case, Baker violated the terms of his bond conditions when he removed his ankle monitor. He was quickly re-arrested and the bond was revoked.
U.S. District Judge Steven C. Seeger imposed the federal prison sentence Nov. 2, 2021, after a hearing in U.S. District 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’s crime is not one of simple possession,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Saurish Appleby-Bhattacharjee argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “Particularly within this federal district – encompassing a city besieged by routine shootings and homicides – there is no simple possession of a loaded pistol by a convicted felon.”
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.