Rockford Man Sentenced To 77 Months In Federal Prison On Gun Charge
ROCKFORD — A Rockford, Ill. man was sentenced today in federal court before U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala to 77 months in prison without parole, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, for illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Jeffrey L. Lottie, 27, pled guilty to the charge on June 3, 2013.
According to the written plea agreement, at approximately 1:31 a.m., on February 23, 2013, Lottie was a front seat passenger in a red Chevy Monte Carlo being driven by his girlfriend on West State Street in Rockford. A Winnebago County Sheriff's Deputy on patrol on West State Street in Rockford stopped the vehicle for a traffic violation. Lottie admitted that after the car was stopped, he placed a Highpoint .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun into his girlfriend's purse on the rear seat of the Monte Carlo. During the traffic stop, the deputy observed the open purse on the backseat and saw the Highpoint handgun. The magazine of the gun, which was seized by the police, was loaded with 5 rounds, although there was not a round in the chamber. Lottie admitted that he illegally possessed the firearm as a convicted felon and that he possessed the gun when he entered the vehicle.
The defendant was originally charged in state court, and is now charged in federal court under tough federal firearms laws as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program. Project Safe Neighborhoods is an intensive, cooperative effort between local, state, and federal law enforcement to attack gun crimes. The cornerstone of the program is that every defendant committing an offense involving a gun will be reviewed for possible federal prosecution in order to obtain the harshest penalties for the worst offenders. Additional information about Project Safe Neighborhoods may be found at: psn.gov.
The sentencing was announced by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; W. Larry Ford, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; Chet Epperson, Chief of the Rockford Police Department; and Richard Meyers, Winnebago County Sheriff.
The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph C. Pedersen.