Friday, August 13, 2021

Federal Jury Convicts Man of Illegally Possessing Handgun on Evanston Street

 CHICAGO — A federal jury in Chicago convicted a man of illegally possessing a semi-automatic handgun in Evanston after he tried to flee from police in a car and on foot.

DARIUS MORALES illegally possessed the firearm in Evanston on May 8, 2019.  Evanston Police responded to gun shots fired in an alley and saw a silver Jeep Commander pull out and speed away.  An officer pursued the vehicle at a high rate of speed until the Jeep crashed into a fence in the backyard of a residence.  Morales, who was a passenger in the Jeep, left the gun on the fence and fled on foot.  He was arrested a few blocks away.

After a three-day trial in federal court in Chicago, the jury on Thursday convicted Morales, 31, of Evanston, of illegally possessing the firearm.  Morales had previously been convicted of multiple felonies and was not legally allowed to possess a gun.

Judge Amy J. St. Eve of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, sitting by designation in the U.S. District Court, heard the trial and scheduled sentencing for Nov. 29, 2021, at 1:00 p.m.

The conviction is punishable by a sentence of up to ten years in federal prison.

The conviction was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Robert J. Bell, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.  Substantial assistance was provided by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Evanston Police Department, and Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.  The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeannice Appenteng and Charles W. Mulaney.

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