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Press Release

Rockford Man Sentenced to 8 Years and 7 Months in Federal Prison on Firearm Charge

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

ROCKFORD — A Rockford man was sentenced Tuesday in federal court by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala for illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.


DEONTA M. NEWTON, 29, was sentenced to 103 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Newton pleaded guilty to the charge on March 17, 2017.


According to a written plea agreement, Newton on July 18, 2016, was a passenger in a vehicle driven by another individual on the way to a convenience store on the west side of Rockford. When the other individual went into the store, a blue minivan pulled in the store’s parking lot and someone inside the van fired several shots at Newton while he was in the car. Newton grabbed a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, got out of the car with the gun in hand, and ran away. The minivan left and shortly thereafter Newton returned to the parking lot and got back in the passenger side of the vehicle. The other individual got back in the vehicle and drove to his residence with Newton, where Newton took the pistol inside and hid it in the basement. The pistol was later located and seized by officers of the Rockford Police Department.


Newton was charged in federal court 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. Additional information about Project Safe Neighborhoods may be found at:


The sentencing was announced by Joel R. Levin, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Celinez Nunez, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; Joseph Bruscato, Winnebago County State’s Attorney; and Dan O’Shea, Chief of the Rockford Police Department.


The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph C. Pedersen.

Updated August 23, 2017

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime