For Immediate Release
Washington, Illinois, Woman Sentenced to 44 Months in Federal Prison for Making False Statement During Purchase of Firearm Later Used in a Violent Crime
PEORIA, Ill. – A Washington, Illinois, woman, Kirstin Sue Jackson, 40, of the 300 block of North Summit Drive, was sentenced on February 13, 2023, to 44 months in federal prison for making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm. Upon release from imprisonment, Jackson will serve a three-year term of supervised release.
At the sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid, the government presented evidence that in May 2021, Jackson acquired a Glock Model 19x, 9mm pistol from Pekin Gun and Sporting Goods in Pekin, Illinois. Jackson knowingly made a false and fictitious written statement when purchasing the gun. Specifically, Jackson represented she was the actual buyer of the firearm, when in fact, she was purchasing the pistol for her 18-year-old son, Eric Jackson, who could not legally buy or possess the gun.
Following the transfer of the gun from Jackson to her son, the gun was fired at the scene of a July 2021 shooting in the 600 block of Haungs Avenue in Peoria in which 3 individuals were shot. One of the victims, 21-year-old Michael Johnson, was shot in the head and ultimately succumbed to his injuries. The homicide investigation conducted by the Peoria Police Department resulted in the arrest of Eric Jackson and a search of his car, home, and cellphone. During searches of the car and home, police located the Glock 19x pistol purchased by Jackson, as well cannabis, several thousand dollars cash, two boxes of 9mm ammunition, a silver handgun magazine, and a 50-round drum-style magazine loaded with 33 rounds of ammunition. On Eric Jackson’s phone, investigators located text messages that revealed that Jackson knew her son was involved in drug trafficking when she purchased the Glock for him. In a message in May 2021, Jackson asked her son, “Please. Do not let me get my [FOID] card taken or my name on someone’s body.”
Jackson was interviewed by ATF agents in August 2021 and admitted that she lied on the forms at the gun store and had purchased the gun for her son. She stated that her son had paid for the gun, and she purchased it for him because he needed protection due to being in “risky situations.” Jackson admitted that she knew her son was selling drugs and would be in possession of large amounts of money. She also admitted to buying ammunition for him.
Also at the hearing, Judge Shadid stated, “I don’t believe you intended this harm to occur to another person – but you have to be sentenced for your conduct which set in motion the chain of events where a gun was used on a certain night, and at a certain location, where a death resulted and others were shot – all foreseeable consequences of the purchase of this gun for your son.”
Jackson, then residing in South Pekin, Illinois, was indicted in September 2021 and was released on bond under United States Pretrial Supervision. Jackson entered a guilty plea in September 2022 and has remained on bond pending sentencing. She was taken into custody at the conclusion of the sentencing hearing to immediately begin serving her sentence.
The statutory penalties for a false statement during the purchase of a firearm are not more than 10 years’ imprisonment, up to three years of supervised release, and a potential fine of up to $250,000.
“Straw purchasing is not a victimless crime,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna. “Violence in our communities is being fueled by individuals who are willing to assume the risk of lying during the purchase of a gun and supplying a lethal weapon to someone else. This case should send a message to those thinking about straw purchasing firearms – you have no control over how that gun is used once it leaves your hands – and you will be subject to federal prosecution if you lie when you buy.”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Peoria Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hanna represented the government in the prosecution.
The case against Jackson 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.
ATF’s campaign “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” is a part of PSN aimed at reducing firearm “straw purchases”, the illegal purchase of a firearm by one person for another, and to educate would-be straw purchasers of the penalties of knowingly participating in an illegal firearm purchase. More information about the campaign can be found at: www.dontlie.org.