ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Federal Building
219 South Dearborn Street, Fifth Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60604
(312) 353-5300

www.justice.gov/usao/iln

For Immediate Release

January 7, 2010

Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney

Contact: Donald Lorenzen, AUSA

(312) 353-5330

Contact: Randall Samborn

(312) 353-5318

Chicago Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Possession of a Handgun and Crack Cocaine

CHICAGO — A Chicago man was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and distribution of crack cocaine, federal law enforcement officials announced today. Dion Harden, an admitted associate of the Black Stone street gang with three prior drug convictions, was ordered to serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison for distributing in excess of 50 grams of crack cocaine consecutively with a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

Harden, 26, who last resided in the 7700 block of South Seeley Avenue, Chicago, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Joan Gottschall in Federal Court in Chicago, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. Harden pleaded guilty to the charges in December 2008.

According to court documents, on Nov. 9, 2006, in Chicago, Harden distributed 61.3 grams of crack cocaine. The transaction was electronically recorded by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), who were investigating Harden. Following that transaction, on March 31, 2007, Chicago Police Department officers executed a search warrant at Harden’s residence. Officers recovered a loaded handgun as well as drugs and drug paraphernalia. Harden is.

In addition to the 15-year prison sentence, Judge Gottschall imposed a term of five years’ supervised release.

The case was investigated by ATF’s Chicago Office and the Chicago Police Department as part of the Justice Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, which initially brought charges, later referred the case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for federal prosecution.

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Lorenzen.

###