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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Southern District of Illinois

For Immediate Release

August 22, 2011

Stephen R. Wiigginton, United States Attorney

Contact: James L. Porter

Arrest By Wave Team Results in 115 Month Federal Sentence

Charles C. Christian, 29, of East St. Louis, received a 115 month federal sentence following his conviction for the offenses of possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of controlled substances, possession of marihuana, and possession of crack cocaine, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Following release from imprisonment, Christian will be on federal supervised release for three years. Christian has been in custody since November 17, 2010, following his arrest by the Working Against Violent Elements (WAVE) task force. A jury found him guilty of the charges on March 16, 2011.

The evidence at trial revealed that members of the WAVE task force encountered Christian in Brooklyn, Illinois, during the late evening hours of November 17, 2010. Officers approached Christian, who was on foot and apparently urinating in the weeds. As officers approached, Christian jumped back into his car and led officers in a high speed chase. When officers retraced Christian's path of flight, they discovered a loaded .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol and a bag of crack cocaine. Christian had marihuana in his pocket and in his vehicle. At sentencing, it was revealed that Christian was on parole at the time of the offense, and he has a lengthy criminal history.

United States Attorney Wigginton stated, The public has no tolerance for armed parolees leading law enforcement officers on high speed chases. I am thankful that no police officers or innocent members of the public were harmed when Charles Christian decided he would try to outrun the police. I commend the WAVE team members for their efforts to restore our communities to the law abiding citizens who are tired of the guns, drugs, shootings and disruptive conduct which occurs at all times of the day and night.

The WAVE Task Force focuses its efforts on combating violent crime in East St. Louis, Washington Park, and surrounding communities. WAVE was formed in November, 2009, and is a collaboration of law enforcement officers from the Illinois State Police, the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois (MEGSI), the East St. Louis Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The WAVE Task Force receives financial support through the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative, a nationwide federal program which endeavors to address gun-related violence

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne M. Garrison