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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Central District of Illinois
Gregory K. Harris, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Man Travelling on I-55 Near Springfield, Illinois, Sentenced to Twenty-Five Months in Prison for Possession of a Firearm as a Felon

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A Kansas City, Kansas, man, Aquilla Jade Patrick Jessie, 33, was sentenced on February 17, 2023, by Senior United States District Judge Sue E. Myerscough to serve 25 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a felon. He is also required to serve a three-year term of supervised release following his imprisonment.

At the sentencing hearing, evidence was admitted showing that on August 27, 2021, an Illinois State Police Trooper pulled over a car being driven by Jessie near mile marker 97 for following a car immediately in front too closely and for having an obstructed windshield. During the traffic stop, it was determined that Jessie had a suspended driver’s license and the car – of which he was the sole occupant – contained a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol. Jessie had previously been convicted of felony offenses in Kansas and Wisconsin.

The statutory penalties for possession of a firearm by a felon at the time of Jessie’s offense were up to 10 years’ imprisonment, up to three years of supervised release, and a possible fine of up to $250,000. He has been detained in the custody of the United States Marshals Service since his arrest.

The Illinois State Police, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Seberger represented the government in the prosecution.

The case against Jessie is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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