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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Central District of Illinois

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Gregory K. Harris
, United States Attorney

Peoria Felon Sentenced to 51 Months in Prison for Possession of a Handgun

PEORIA, Ill. – A Peoria, Illinois, man, Eshayah Y. Aguirre, 21, of the 1600 block of North Great Oak Road, was sentenced on December 20, 2022, to 51 months in federal prison, to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release, for possessing a firearm as a felon.

At the sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid, the government presented evidence that in January 2022 Aguirre had been convicted of the felony offense of aggravated unlawful use of weapons in Peoria County Circuit Court. Aguirre was thereafter prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms due to his felony conviction.

Later on May 25, 2022, Peoria Police conducted a routine traffic stop of a Chevy Trailblazer where Aguirre was seated as a backseat passenger. During the traffic stop, Aguirre forced open the rear door of the Trailblazer, striking an officer in the head and knee with the door. Aguirre then fled on foot through a residential area and, during a chase with the officer only footsteps behind, reached into his waistband and pulled out a handgun equipped with an extended high-capacity ammunition magazine. Immediately after pulling out the gun, Aguirre tripped and fell, causing the firearm tumble across the ground in an area between houses. Police then arrested Aguirre and recovered the gun, a semi-automatic pistol with a magazine capable of holding up to 31 rounds of ammunition. The gun was loaded with a round in the chamber, ready to fire, and contained an additional 20 rounds of ammunition in the magazine. Aguirre admitted the gun was his, claiming he had found it on an earlier date and kept it for his own protection.

At the hearing, Judge Shadid found that, although Aguirre was a young man, he was being sentenced for his second gun case and the sentence imposed was necessary to protect the public from potential future crimes by Aguirre.

Aguirre was indicted in June 2022 and entered a guilty plea in August 2022. He has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

The statutory penalties for a possessing a firearm as a felon are up to 10 years’ imprisonment, up to five years of supervised release, and a possible fine of up to $250,000.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Peoria Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna represented the government in the prosecution.

The case against Aguirre is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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