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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
www.justice.gov/usao-ndil
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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