For Immediate Release
Rockford Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison for Drug-Trafficking and Firearm Offenses
ROCKFORD — A Rockford man was sentenced yesterday in federal court on drug-trafficking and firearm charges. JARVIS WASHINGTON, 28, of Rockford, Ill., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala to a total of 12 years in federal prison, and ordered to serve 4 years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment. After a 3-day jury trial in U.S. District Court, Washington was convicted on April 1, 2015, of possession of heroin and cocaine base (“crack cocaine”) with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm and ammunition as a felon.
According to the indictment and evidence at trial, on Sept. 24, 2013, Washington possessed with intent to distribute at least 94.6 grams of heroin, 227.1 grams of crack cocaine, and 376.7 grams of marijuana. Many of the drugs were already individually packaged for sale, and Washington possessed the tools to package the remaining drugs for sale. In addition, Washington possessed a loaded .45 caliber handgun and both .45 caliber and .40 caliber ammunition. Washington previously had been convicted of a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year and, therefore, was prohibited by law from possessing a firearm and ammunition.
The defendant was originally charged in state court and was transferred to federal court where he was charged under tough federal firearms laws as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program. Project Safe Neighborhoods is an intensive, cooperative effort between local, state, and federal law enforcement to attack gun crimes. The cornerstone of the program is that every defendant committing an offense involving a gun will be reviewed for possible federal prosecution in order to obtain the harshest penalties for the worst offenders.
The sentencing was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Jeffrey A. Magee, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; and Gary Caruana, Winnebago County Sheriff. The Rockford Police Department and Loves Park Police Department assisted in the investigation.
The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John G. McKenzie and Talia Bucci.