For Immediate Release
Convicted Felon Sentenced to More Than 19 Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing a Loaded Handgun on Chicago’s West Side
CHICAGO — A convicted felon has been sentenced to more than 19 years in federal prison for illegally possessing a loaded handgun during a traffic stop on the West Side of Chicago.
DEMONE RULE, 37, of Chicago, possessed the gun on the evening of Dec. 27, 2015, in the city’s Austin neighborhood. Rule had previously been convicted of several felonies, including attempted murder, and was not legally allowed to possess a firearm.
A jury last year convicted Rule on one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon. U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey on Thursday imposed a 235-month prison sentence after determining Rule’s status as an Armed Career Criminal under federal law. The Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984 provides for enhanced penalties for firearm offenses committed by felons who were previously convicted of certain crimes three or more times.
The sentencing was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Celinez Nunez, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and Eddie T. Johnson, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. The Illinois Department of Corrections provided valuable assistance.
“Defendant kept a loaded gun in his waistband in Chicago, a city plagued by gun violence, endangering our communities,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Misty N. Wright and Devlin Su argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “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.”
According to evidence at trial, Chicago Police officers observed Rule commit a traffic violation by using an alley as a thoroughfare. The officers pulled over the green Buick Rule was driving, but when they approached his car, Rule sped off. Several blocks away, Rule stopped his car in the middle of the street with the keys still in the ignition, and fled on foot. Officers caught up with Rule in a nearby vacant lot, put him in handcuffs and recovered the gun from his waistband. The firearm had six live rounds in the magazine, and one in the chamber.