For Immediate Release
Convicted Felon Sentenced to more than 7 Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing a Loaded Semi-Automatic Handgun in Chicago
CHICAGO — A convicted felon has been sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison for illegally possessing a loaded semi-automatic handgun and pointing it at a car full of people, including a 4-year-old child, outside a Chicago convenience store.
ANTHONY DRAYTON, 37, of Berwyn, illegally possessed the gun on the night of Feb. 27, 2018, in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago. Drayton approached a vehicle outside a convenience store and pointed the gun at two occupants in the front seat. The child was sitting in the back seat. After the victims told Drayton there was a child in the car, Drayton lowered the gun and walked away. Chicago Police officers were called to the area and quickly arrested Drayton nearby.
Drayton, who was on parole at the time of the offense, had previously been convicted of multiple felonies, including two shootings, and was not legally allowed to possess a firearm.
Drayton pleaded guilty last year in the federal case to one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon. U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee on Monday sentenced Drayton to seven years and three months in federal prison.
The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Timothy Jones, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and Eddie Johnson, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.
“The defendant is the poster child for why guns in the hands of felons are so dangerous and destructive,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher V. Parente argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “It is important for everyone in Chicago to know that gun crime will not be tolerated as a norm in this city, and that if someone possesses an illegal firearm there will be consequences and they will be swift and severe.”
Holding convicted felons 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, including by prosecuting individuals who illegally possess firearms.