DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Friday, June 11, 2021
Steven D. Weinhoeft
, United States Attorney

Unlawful Gun Possession Leads to 10-Year Sentence for East St. Louis Man

East St. Louis, Ill. – A convicted felon from the Metro East is headed to prison for possessing a loaded rifle. Fernandez White, 28, of East St. Louis, Illinois, was sentenced on Thursday to the statutory maximum term of 10 years in prison. White previously pled guilty to the offense in February.

According to court documents, the case against White began on Oct. 31, 2020, when a woman notified the East St. Louis Housing Authority that she had been stopped by a man asking for a ride. When the woman refused, the man reportedly grew angry, brandished a rifle, and walked away. Officers approached the man, later identified as White, and took him into custody without incident. The rifle was recovered and determined to be stolen. It was loaded with 26 rounds of ammunition.

At the sentencing hearing, the district court heard evidence that at the time of the offense White was on probation for robbery and out on bond for three separate felony offenses. In fact, White was wearing an electronic location monitor on his ankle when he was arrested.

The case was investigated by the Public Safety Enforcement Group (PSEG), the East St. Louis Police Department, the East St. Louis Housing Authority Police, and the ATF. PSEG is a newly formed Illinois State Police unit embedded in and working in direct partnership with the East St. Louis Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Reppert prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders a d partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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