PEORIA, Ill. – A Peoria, Illinois, man, Arnez J. Salazar, 26, of the 2800 block of Linn Street, was sentenced on September 21, 2022, to 28 months in federal prison for unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release.
At the sentencing hearing before Senior US District Judge Michael M. Mihm, the government presented evidence that on January 14, 2022, Peoria Police officers approached Salazar in a local pub in order to arrest him on an outstanding warrant. During the arrest, officers located a handgun inside the inner pocket of a Salazar coat wore into the pub and then hung on the back of his chair. The gun was a .380 caliber, semi-automatic pistol loaded with ammunition, including a round in the chamber. At the time, Salazar had multiple prior felony convictions prohibiting him from lawfully possessing a firearm.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment against Salazar in February 2022, following his arrest on a related federal criminal complaint in January 2022. Salazar pleaded guilty in May 2022. He has remained in the custody of the US Marshals Service since his arrest.
The statutory penalties for possession of a firearm by a felon are up to 15 years’ imprisonment, up to five years of supervised release, and a possible fine of up to $250,000.
The Peoria Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case. Assistant US Attorney Ronald L. Hanna represented the government in the prosecution.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.