Unlawful Gun Possession Leads to 10-Year Sentence for East St. Louis Man

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East St. Louis, Ill. – A convicted felon from the Metro East is headed to prison for possessing a


loaded rifle. Fernandez White, 28, of East St. Louis, Illinois, was sentenced on Thursday to the


statutory maximum term of 10 years in prison. White previously pled guilty to the offense in


February.


According to court documents, the case against White began on Oct. 31, 2020, when a woman notified


the East St. Louis Housing Authority that she had been stopped by a man asking for a ride. When the


woman  refused,  the  man  reportedly  grew  angry,  brandished  a  rifle,  and  walked  away. 


Officers approached the man, later identified as White, and took him into custody without incident.


The rifle was recovered and determined to be stolen. It was loaded with 26 rounds of ammunition.

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At the sentencing hearing, the district court heard evidence that at the time of the offense White


was on  probation  for  robbery  and  out  on  bond  for  three  separate  felony  offenses.  In 


fact,  White  was wearing an electronic location monitor on his ankle when he was arrested.

The case was investigated by the Public Safety Enforcement Group (PSEG), the East St. Louis Police


Department, the East St. Louis Housing Authority Police, and the ATF. PSEG is a newly formed


Illinois State Police unit embedded in and working in direct partnership with the East St. Louis


Police Department.

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Reppert prosecuted the case.


This  case  was  brought  as  part  of  Project  Safe  Neighborhoods  (PSN),  the  centerpiece  of 


the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program


proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders


work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop


comprehensive solutions  to address  them.  As  part  of  this  strategy,  PSN  focuses 


enforcement  efforts  on  the  most violent  offenders  a  d  partners  with  locally  based 


prevention  and  reentry  programs  for  lasting


reductions in crime.

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