Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gun in Deep Freeze Nets Cahokia Man Over Three Years in Federal Prison

A Cahokia man, Willie J. Fair, III, 24, was sentenced in United States District Court, East St. Louis, for unlawful possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon, to 37 months in prison, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Fair also was also ordered to pay a $200 fine, a $100 special assessment, and to serve three years’ supervised release following imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system. Fair has been in custody since his arrest on January 23, 2012.

According to court documents, on November 30, 2011, members of the FBI WAVE (Working Against Violent Elements) Task Force were patrolling East St. Louis, Illinois, and responded to a report involving the recovery of a stolen vehicle at the Orr Weathers Public Housing Complex and a potential suspect running into Building 21. Members of the task force knocked on an apartment door in Building 21, where they believed the suspect ran, and were met by Fair. During a search of the apartment, officers seized four firearms, magazines, and numerous rounds of ammunition. A Hi-Point .380 caliber, semi-automatic pistol was recovered from a deep freezer. Fair, a convicted felon prohibited from possessing firearms, admitted he possessed the Hi-Point pistol and placed it in the deep freezer when law enforcement arrived. Another convicted felon in the apartment was arrested for possession of one of the other firearms. He is scheduled to be sentenced June 29, 2012. The Hi-Point pistol functioned as designed.

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 gunrelated violence.

The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Kit Morrissey. Steven Lupa, a law student, assisted at the sentencing hearing.

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