For Immediate Release
Rockford Man Sentenced to Over 7.5 Years for Possession With Intent To Distribute Crack Cocaine and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime
ROCKFORD — A Rockford, Illinois, man, Jerry Hatchett, 48, was sentenced on July 19, 2023, before U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard to 94 months in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Hatchett pleaded guilty on April 3, 2023.
According to the written plea agreement, Hatchett possessed approximately 6.4 grams of cocaine base in the form of crack cocaine in his Rockford area apartment on February 6, 2017. Hatchett admitted that over a period of approximately six months he sold approximately 378 grams of crack cocaine out of his apartment. Additionally, four firearms were found at Hatchett’s apartment. According to the plea agreement, Hatchett purchased those firearms by trading crack cocaine for them and he possessed them to protect his crack cocaine distribution activities.
Holding drug dealers and those who use firearms to further their drug dealing accountable through federal prosecution is a centerpiece of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) – the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction strategy. In the Northern District of Illinois, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has deployed the PSN program to attack a broad range of violent crime issues facing the district, particularly firearm offenses.
The sentence was announced by Morris Parsqual, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Christopher Amon, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and Gary Caruana, Winnebago County Sheriff. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Beckman, Robert Ladd and Cassandra Quaglia.