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Press Release

Hamilton County Man Charged With Illegally Possessing A Firearm

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

Sonny D. Southall, 28, of McLeansboro, Illinois, was arraigned today in United States District Court in Benton on an indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. The indictment, returned by a Federal Grand Jury on July 9th, alleged that Southall possessed a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic pistol in White County on June 2, 2013. Prior to that date, Southall had been convicted of two felony offenses, making it illegal under federal law for him to possess firearms or ammunition.

An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.

If convicted, Southall faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and 3 years of supervised release to follow his incarceration. The firearm he illegally possessed is also subject to forfeiture to the United States.

Southall was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal to await a detention hearing at which time it will be determined whether bond will be set or if he will be ordered held without bond. That hearing was scheduled for Friday, July 26th at 10:00 a.m. in Benton.

The case was investigated by the Carmi office of the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force and the White County Sheriff’s Department with the assistance of the Illinois State Police, the Enfield Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James M. Cutchin.

Updated February 19, 2015