Man Sentenced to More Than Seven Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing Loaded Gun on Chicago Street

1 min read

CHICAGO — A man has been sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison for illegally possessing a loaded handgun on a Chicago street.

TERRANCE WEATHERSBY illegally possessed the gun on the afternoon of Oct. 6, 2018, in the 5800 block of West Fulton Street in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood.  Shortly after 1:00 p.m., Chicago Police officers responding to the sound of gunfire approached the area and observed a man subsequently identified as Weathersby firing a gun multiple times at unidentified individuals down the street, in the presence of bystanders.  Weathersby ran from the police and tossed the gun into a backyard before fleeing in a vehicle.  Other officers pulled over the vehicle a few blocks away and apprehended Weathersby.  Police then searched the area where Weathersby ran and discovered the gun, which was equipped with a high-capacity magazine.

Weathersby, 32, of Chicago, pleaded guilty to a federal charge of illegal possession of a firearm.  He had previously been convicted of felonies in state court, including a firearm offense, and was prohibited by federal law from possessing the gun. 

U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin imposed an 87-month prison sentence Thursday 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; Kristen de Tineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.

“A felon carrying a gun fitted with a large capacity magazine, walking down our residential streets and shooting, strikes fear into the hearts of ordinary people,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheri H. Mecklenburg argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum.  “Defendant’s offense conduct was brazen, dangerous, and adversely affected public safety.”

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.