ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – A Galesburg, Illinois, man, Ricky Dale Niswonger, Jr., 32, of the 1300 block of Grand Avenue, was sentenced on April 6, 2022, to 10 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for possession of a firearm by a felon.
According to court documents, law enforcement agents executed a search warrant on Niswonger’s car as part of an investigation into a suspected methamphetamine-trafficking operation. In the car, they found five firearms, ammunition, and a bulletproof vest.
At the sentencing hearing, Chief U.S. District Judge Sara Darrow found that Niswonger possessed the firearms in connection with methamphetamine trafficking. Chief Judge Darrow also found that Niswonger had attempted to intimidate a possible witness in his case, which warranted a sentencing enhancement for obstruction of justice.
Niswonger had pleaded guilty to the offense in April 2021. The statutory penalties for felon in possession of a firearm are a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release.
The Galesburg Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Mathew and Grant Thomas Hodges represented the government in the prosecution.