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Press Release

Man Sentenced to Ten Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing Two Loaded Firearms as a Convicted Felon

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

CHICAGO — A man who illegally possessed two loaded firearms and an extended magazine as a convicted felon, fled from police, and then punched a police officer in the head has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

On March 29, 2020, JONATHAN KNOX, 26, of Chicago, was a passenger in a vehicle engaged in a traffic stop with Chicago Police Department officers. Knox exited the vehicle and fled from law enforcement with one firearm in his hand and another concealed in the lining of his jacket. During the pursuit, Knox threw the firearm in his hand into the backyard of a nearby residence. Knox punched the officer multiple times in the back of the head while the officer was trying to detain Knox in the yard of that same residence. Officers recovered both firearms a short time later. Knox pleaded guilty earlier this year to a federal charge of illegal possession of a firearm.

On November 4, 2022, U.S. District Judge Ronald A. Guzman imposed a 120-month prison sentence.

“The unlawful possession of firearms has crippled communities across the Chicagoland region. The consequences of picking up an illegal firearm must be severe enough such that a convicted felon who decides to do so understands the serious consequences that this decision entails,” argued Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia Schwartz in the government’s sentencing memorandum.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; John S. Morales, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. Assistance was provided by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

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.

Updated November 8, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods