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Press Release

Pulling A Gun Out During An Argument Lands Godfrey Man Back in Federal Prison

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


Brenden T. Cepaitas, 31, of Godfrey, Illinois, was sentenced today to nearly five years in prison for unlawfully possessing a firearm while on federal supervised release. United States District Judge David R. Herndon sentenced Cepaitas to a total of 58 months in federal prison for the offense, to be followed by 30 months of supervised release.

Court proceedings revealed that in the early morning hours of August 4, 2017, officers with the Alton, Illinois Police Department responded to a 911 call at the Riverside Bar & Grill. According to witnesses, Cepaitas was involved in a minor verbal altercation with another patron at the bar, after which Cepaitas went outside and retrieved a handgun from his car. He then brandished the gun and threatened another individual. Surveillance video recovered during the investigation shows Cepaitas reentering the bar with the handgun in his hand and then going into the restaurant’s bathroom as the police arrived on scene. Officers searched the bathroom and found a loaded Glock 42 handgun in the trash can.

A trace on the gun showed that it had been stolen during an August 28, 2014 residential burglary in Granite City, Illinois. There was no evidence implicating Cepaitas in the burglary.

At the time of his arrest, Cepaitas was on federal supervised release for a 2014 conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. A petition to revoke his supervised release was promptly filed after his arrest, and a federal indictment was returned against him on August 23, 2017. Cepaitas pleaded guilty to the charges on April 23, 2018, and agreed not to contest forfeiture of the gun.

The case was investigated by the Alton Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Hoell.

Updated November 20, 2018

Firearms Offenses