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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Central District of Illinois
For Immediate Release
Gregory K. Harris, United States Attorney
Friday, March 25, 2022

Former Peoria, Illinois, Man Sentenced for Possession of a Sawed-off Shotgun and Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person

PEORIA, Ill. – A Metropolis, Illinois, man, Roy T. Rolfe, 40, formerly a resident of Peoria, was sentenced on March 24, 2022, to 27 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of an unregistered firearm. U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid also ordered Rolfe to forfeit his firearm and ammunition.

At the sentencing hearing, the government established that on March 13, 2020, an officer of the Washington Police Department stopped Rolfe’s vehicle for speeding and arrested him for driving without a license. Inside Rolfe’s vehicle, officers located a loaded sawed-off shotgun with an obliterated serial number, ammunition, methamphetamine, and a syringe. The shotgun was in a backpack on the floor of the front passenger area, within reach of the driver’s seat. At the time, Rolfe was prohibited from possessing a firearm due to his prior state felony convictions for burglary and possession of methamphetamine.

The shotgun had a shortened barrel that measured 11.5 inches in length, with an overall length of 18.5 inches. The National Firearms Act requires such a weapon made from a shotgun to be registered if, as modified, it has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel of less than 18 inches in length.

Rolfe was indicted in June 2020 and was released on bond pending trial in August 2020. He subsequently pleaded guilty that same month. He was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service following his sentencing hearing to commence his term of imprisonment.

The statutory penalties for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person are not more than 10 years imprisonment, up to three years of supervised release, and up to a $250,000 fine. The penalties for possession of a firearm made in violation of the National Firearms Act are not more than 10 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine.

“This prosecution and sentence should serve as a reminder that felons with guns will be aggressively prosecuted,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna. “We sincerely appreciate the efforts of the ATF and the Washington Police Department – this is another example of how local and federal collaboration makes our communities safer.”

“Law enforcement partnerships are vital to the successful investigation of gun crimes in our communities,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division Kristen de Tineo. “We appreciate the United States Attorney’s Office for prosecuting this case and holding those who are prohibited from possessing firearms accountable.”

The Washington Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hanna represented the government in the prosecution.

The case against Rolfe was brought as part of The Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative. The Department’s renewed commitment to Project Safe Neighborhoods establishes four fundamental principles to guide efforts to reduce violent crime: 1) build trust and legitimacy within communities; 2) invest in community-based prevention and intervention programs; 3) target enforcement and priorities to focus resources on identifying, investigating, and prosecuting the most significant drivers of gun violence and other violent crime; and, 4) measure results with the goal to reduce the level of violence in our communities and not to increase the number of arrests and prosecutions as if they were ends in themselves.

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