DOJ seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, July 27, 2017
Donald S. Boyce
, United States Attorney
Contact: Nathan E. Wyatt

Williamson County Man Indicted on Charges Related to Unlawful Dealing of Firearms

On July 12, 2017, Austin K. Sims was indicted for three charges relating to the unlawful sale of firearms, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Donald S. Boyce, announced today. After a detention hearing held on July 26, 2017, the federal district court in Benton ordered that Sims be held without bond pending trial.

Count One charges that from on or about April 24, 2014, until on or about August 1, 2016, in Williamson County, Sims engaged in the business of dealing firearms without a license. Count Two charges that on or about April 29, 2016, in Williamson County, Sims was an unlawful user of a controlled substance and knowingly possessed a firearm in and affecting interstate or foreign commerce. Count Three charges that on August 4, 2016, in Williamson County, Sims willfully and knowingly made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements during an investigation conducted within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the United States government.

The offense of engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license carries up to a maximum of five years of imprisonment, to be followed by up to three years of supervised release, a fine up to $250,000, and a $100 special assessment. The offense of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person carries up to a maximum of ten years of imprisonment, to be followed by up to three years of supervised release, a fine up to $250,000, and a $100 special assessment. The offense of making a false statement to an agency of the United States carries up to a maximum of five years of imprisonment, to be followed by up to three years of supervised release, a fine up to $250,000, and a $100 special assessment.

An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.

The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with the assistance of the Marion (Illinois) Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William E. Coonan.

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Field Division: Chicago Field Division