Chicago man sentenced to 18 months for illegally possessing a firearm during widespread downtown looting

A Chicago man has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for illegally possessing a loaded handgun during widespread looting in Chicago last summer.

Javonte T. Williams, 28, pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon earlier this year. 

Williams was previously convicted of a felony firearm offense, for which he was sentenced to probation. Because of the conviction, he is prohibited from possessing a gun.

On Aug. 10, 2020, Chicago police officers attempted to detain Williams for suspected looting near North State Street and East Lake Street at 5 a.m.

When officers pursued and arrested Williams, a semi-automatic handgun loaded with multiple rounds of ammunition in the magazine and one in the chamber, fell from his body to the ground.


Law enforcement learned during their investigation that Williams boasted about looting in Chicago on social media. 

"During a night of complete lawlessness in the city of Chicago, the defendant put himself at ground zero and endangered the lives of law enforcement, the general public, and himself by carrying a loaded firearm in his waistband," Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher V. Parente argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum.  "The illegal possession of a firearm by a felon is always a dangerous and serious offense."

U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall imposed the 18-month federal sentence after a hearing in U.S. District Court in Chicago.