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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
Monday, October 3, 2022

Man Sentenced to Eight Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing Machine Gun in Rockford

ROCKFORD — A man has been sentenced to eight years in federal prison for illegally possessing a machine gun in Rockford.

THOMAS BROOKS II, 20, of Rockford, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a charge of illegal firearm possession. As a previously convicted felon, he was prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms. Brooks admitted in a plea agreement that while in Rockford on Nov. 1, 2021, he illegally possessed a handgun loaded with 17 rounds of ammunition and a “switch” device that modified the firearm to become fully automatic.

U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard imposed the sentence on Friday after a hearing in federal court in Rockford.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Kristen de Tineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the ATF; 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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