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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Illinois
For Immediate Release
John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney
Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Federal Judge Sentences Man to More Than Five Years in Prison for Illegally Possessing Firearm in Rockford

ROCKFORD — A federal judge has sentenced a Rockford man to more than five years in federal prison for illegally possessing a firearm in Rockford.

U.S. District Judge Iain D. Johnston on Friday sentenced MARCUS CLAY, 23, to five years and two months in prison.  Clay pleaded guilty in September 2022 to a charge of illegal firearm possession.  As a previously convicted felon, Clay was prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms.  Clay admitted in a plea agreement that while in Rockford on Oct. 27, 2021, he possessed a loaded handgun with an extended magazine.  The magazine was loaded with an additional 29 rounds of ammunition.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Jeffrey L. Matthews, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and Carla Redd, Chief of the Rockford Police Department.  The government was represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodora Anderson, a prosecutor with the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office who is working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office under a federal grant to prosecute certain firearm offenses in federal court.

Holding illegal firearm possessors 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, U.S. Attorney Lausch and law enforcement partners have deployed the PSN program to attack a broad range of violent crime issues facing the district, particularly firearm offenses.

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