Unlawful Gun Possession Leads to 10-Year Sentence for East St. Louis Man

East St. Louis, Ill. – A convicted felon from the Metro East is headed to prison for possessing a

loaded rifle. Fernandez White, 28, of East St. Louis, Illinois, was sentenced on Thursday to the

statutory maximum term of 10 years in prison. White previously pled guilty to the offense in


According to court documents, the case against White began on Oct. 31, 2020, when a woman notified

the East St. Louis Housing Authority that she had been stopped by a man asking for a ride. When the

woman  refused,  the  man  reportedly  grew  angry,  brandished  a  rifle,  and  walked  away. 

Officers approached the man, later identified as White, and took him into custody without incident.

The rifle was recovered and determined to be stolen. It was loaded with 26 rounds of ammunition.

At the sentencing hearing, the district court heard evidence that at the time of the offense White

was on  probation  for  robbery  and  out  on  bond  for  three  separate  felony  offenses.  In 

fact,  White  was wearing an electronic location monitor on his ankle when he was arrested.

The case was investigated by the Public Safety Enforcement Group (PSEG), the East St. Louis Police

Department, the East St. Louis Housing Authority Police, and the ATF. PSEG is a newly formed

Illinois State Police unit embedded in and working in direct partnership with the East St. Louis

Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Reppert prosecuted the case.

This  case  was  brought  as  part  of  Project  Safe  Neighborhoods  (PSN),  the  centerpiece  of 

the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program

proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders

work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop

comprehensive solutions  to address  them.  As  part  of  this  strategy,  PSN  focuses 

enforcement  efforts  on  the  most violent  offenders  a  d  partners  with  locally  based 

prevention  and  reentry  programs  for  lasting

reductions in crime.

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