CHICAGO — A Chicago man has been sentenced to five and a half years in federal prison for illegally possessing a loaded handgun on the city’s Near North Side.
NICHOLAS WILLIAMS, 33, illegally possessed the loaded gun while walking on the sidewalk in the 900 block of North Cambridge Avenue on Dec. 8, 2018. Williams fled on foot when he saw Chicago Police officers approach in a vehicle. Williams scaled two fences before the officers safely brought him into custody. The firearm was equipped with an extended magazine and loaded with 22 rounds of ammunition. Williams also had in his possession 22 individually wrapped bags containing crack cocaine.
Williams had previously been convicted of felonies in state court, including aggravated discharge of a firearm and manufacturing and delivering cocaine, and was not legally allowed to possess the gun. He was on parole for the state firearm offense at the time of the federal charge.
Williams pleaded guilty earlier this year to a charge of illegal possession of a firearm. U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang imposed the 66-month prison sentence Monday after a hearing in federal court in Chicago.
The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office provided valuable assistance. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher V. Parente.
Holding illegal firearm possessors accountable through federal prosecution is a centerpiece of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction strategy. In the Northern District of Illinois, U.S. Attorney Lausch and law enforcement partners have deployed the PSN program to attack a broad range of violent crime issues facing the district, particularly firearm offenses.