Man Sentenced to Seven and a Half Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing Loaded Gun on Chicago Sidewalk

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

CHICAGO — A man has been sentenced to seven and a half years in federal prison for illegally possessing a loaded semiautomatic handgun and crack cocaine on a Chicago sidewalk.

ANDRE WILLIAMS illegally possessed the gun and drugs on the afternoon of May 6, 2020, on a sidewalk in the West Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.  Chicago Police officers responding to a call of suspected criminal activity in the area approached Williams and asked to speak to him.  Williams ran off and led the officers on a two-block foot chase before they apprehended him.  The officers seized the gun, which was loaded with nine rounds of ammunition, and multiple bags of crack cocaine from a pocket of Williams’s sweatshirt.

Williams, 43, of Chicago, pleaded guilty last year to a federal charge of illegal possession of a firearm.  Williams had previously been convicted of multiple state felonies, including a firearm offense, and was prohibited by federal law from possessing the gun.

U.S. District Judge Jorge L. Alonso imposed the 90-month sentence Friday 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.

“Defendant and other felons who carry guns must understand that illegally possessing weapons on the streets of Chicago translates to real consequences and real punishment, including meaningful time in prison,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Misty N. Wright argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum.

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.