Convicted Felon Admits Illegally Possessing Semi-Automatic Rifle at Veterans Affairs Hospital in Chicago

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CHICAGO — A convicted felon pleaded guilty today to a federal firearm violation for illegally possessing a semi-automatic rifle at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago.

BERNARD HARVEY, JR., 43, of Indianapolis, Ind., pleaded guilty to one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  The charge is punishable by up to ten years in federal prison.  U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr., set sentencing for May 5, 2022, at 10:30 a.m.

Harvey illegally possessed the rifle on Aug. 12, 2019, at the medical center, 820 S. Damen Ave. in Chicago.  Harvey had previously been convicted in the Circuit Court of Cook County of multiple felonies, including gun offenses, and was not lawfully allowed to possess the rifle.

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The guilty plea 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 Jesse Brown VA Police Department provided valuable assistance.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey B. Rubenstein.

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.

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