Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon: Maximum Sentence of 10 Years, with Government Requesting 96 Months in Prison; Result: 66 months (1/3 less than Government’s request) in the Bureau of Prisons!

Our client was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois. He was charged with having a loaded firearm, including full ammunition, in his home while being a convicted felon and a lifelong member of a notorious Chicago street gang. Federal agents raided his Englewood home and found packaged marijuana and a loaded Taurus firearm hidden inside. Our client was then arrested.

In the federal criminal system, the charge of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon is a serious charge that carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison. But the statute is only one part of the sentencing parameters; a complex calculation is made under the United States Sentencing Guidelines to determine, based on the offense itself and the defendant’s criminal background, what sentencing range is advisable. There is also a plea agreement in place that allows both sides to argue for whatever they choose. The Guidelines are advisory, but most judges still sentence within the Guidelines.

Our client hired Wigell Criminal Defense to represent him in this case. Guns are a hot-button issue in Chicago, especially under the current presidential administration and the current Attorney General, who has ordered federal prosecutors to file the toughest charges and to seek the highest sentences they can.

This proved true in our case. Our client had a rap sheet that some would say was a mile long, which was guaranteed to increase the suggested Guideline range. Although a plea agreement was negotiated, the sentencing range was still very much the subject of argument.

The Government, citing the fact that our client’s convictions numbered easily in the double digits, that he had been in and out of jail and prison since he was a juvenile, that he had been convicted of being a felon in possession before without learning his lesson, and that he was a lifelong member of the Conservative Vice Lords, made strong arguments for an increased sentence of 96 months in federal prison, which was in well in excess of the Guideline range.

The Government maintained that our client was irredeemable, a danger to the community, and that the public needed to be protected from him by way of a lengthy prison sentence.

This was not the version of our client that we knew. At Wigell Criminal Defense, we believe in holistic approaches that take into account the entirety of the person and their life story. A person’s history, characteristics, and an explanation as to why they may have committed an offense, are very important when it comes to federal sentencing.

With multiple and regular meetings with our client, attorneys Raymond Wigell and Huma Rashid drafted a detailed sentencing memorandum that explored the client’s life history, including the tragic death of his two older siblings while they were all children, walking the family dog, as well as our client’s 6 children, all of whom are productive citizens, workers, and students.

Following an impassioned argument for a sentence less than the requested 96 months, the federal judge complimented Attorney Huma Rashid in her eloquence in presenting information about our client’s life and his struggles, saying that he learned a lot about who our client truly was thanks to the detailed and holistic filings from the Wigell Criminal Defense Team.

After hearing all arguments, the federal judge ordered a sentence of 66 months in federal prison, well below the Government’s request of 96 months. With credit for time served, our client has 3 and a half years left to serve. He was pleased with the result, knowing he’d soon be back to his family and be able to move forward and start anew.

Thanks to the detailed mitigation work and the holistic defense strategies employed, Wigell Criminal Defense was able to save our client 2 .5 years of his life.

Wigell Criminal Defense-Representing Individuals Charged on the Federal Level

Wigell Criminal Defense has represented clients charged in Federal District Court for over 41 years. The Federal Criminal Court System is significantly different from state court. When a client is charged with a Federal Criminal Matter, he/she should be represented by an experienced federal criminal defense attorney.

Additionally, when a client is under investigation by a Federal Law Enforcement Agency and no charges have been filed at that time, it is crucial for a client to have an attorney representing him/her at this stage. Having an attorney at this stage may mitigate or even avoid Federal Criminal Charges all together. Examples of the Federal Law Enforcement Agencies that WCD has interacted with include:

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)

Secret Service (SS)

Internal-Revenue Service-Criminal-Investigation-Division (IRS-CID)

Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)

Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

U.S. Postal Inspectors (USPI)

United States Department of Labor Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations

International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL)

Wigell Criminal Defense is currently representing clients under investigation and charged with the following federal crimes:

Sex Trafficking (18 U.S.C § 1591)

Conspiracy to Commit Sex Trafficking (18 U.S.C. § 1594)

Conspiracy to Commit Transportation to Engage in Prostitution (18 U.S.C. § 371)

Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956)

Conspiracy to Use A Communication Facility to Promote Prostitution (18 U.S.C. § 371)

Identity Theft (18 U.S.C §1028(a))

Postal Theft (18 U.S.C § 1708)

Possession of a Controlled Substance (21 U.S.C. 841)

Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute (21 U.S.C § 841)

Possession of Child Pornography (18 U.S.C § 1952)

Distribution of Child Pornography (21 U.S.C § 843)

Tax Evasion (26 U.S.C § 7201)

Tax Fraud (26 U.S.C § 7201)

Counterfeiting and Forgery (18 U.S.C § 25)

Insurance Fraud (18 U.S.C § 1956)

Possession of Firearm in Interstate Commerce (18 U.S.C § 922)

Fraud (18 U.S.C § 47)

Wire Fraud (18 U.S.C § 1343)

UCB Fraud (31 USC §3729)

Interstate Commerce of Contraband (15 U.S.C § 715(b))

Transportation of Child Pornography (18 U.S.C § 2252)

Receipt of Child Pornography (18 USC § 2252A)

Distribution of Child Pornography (21 U.S.C § 843)

Possession of Child Pornography (18 U.S.C § 1952)

Conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute a controlled substance (21 U.S.C § 846)

Manufacturing and Delivery of Heroin >500 grams (18 U.S.C § 841)

Brandishment of a Firearm in Furtherance of Violence (18 U.S.C § 2241)

Felon Possession of a Weapon (18 U.S.C § 2241)

RICO (Rackateering Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act) (18 U.S.C § 96)

Wire Fraud (18 U.S.C § 1343)

Conspiracy to Access or Caused to be Accessed a Protected Computer (18 U.S.C § 1030)

Fraud (18 U.S.C § 47)

Postal Theft (18 U.S.C § 1708)

Filing A False Tax Return (26 U.S.C § 7206(2))

Medicaid Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 287)

Copyright Infringement (17 U.S.C. § 506(a))

Conspiracy to Commit Federal Program Bribery (18 U.S.C § 371)

Conspiracy to Commit Extortion (18 U.S.C § 1951(a))

Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Minor (18 U.S.C § 2241)

Theft of Government Funds (18, U.S.C § 641)

Presenting False Claims (18 U.S.C § 287)

Conspiracy to Traffic in Contraband Cigarettes (18 U.S.C § 2342)

Federal Corrections Officer Indicted for Making a False Statement to Investigators

Be Aware & BEWARE!

DO NOT fib, fabricate, understate or lie to a federal Law enforcement agent. Calmly but firmly assert you rights to remain silent & have an attorney present during questioning.  Enough said!




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