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Crawford County Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun Crime

(St. Louis) A man from Steelville pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm stemming from a police chase from Illinois into Missouri.

27-year-old Johnathon Esparza appeared in federal court today before U.S. District Judge John Ross who accepted his plea and set his sentencing date for March 13th of 2020.

Court documents say on September 21st of 2018, Brooklyn, Illinois police officers responded to a call regarding shots fired from a Nissan vehicle.

As police officers attempted to bring the vehicle to a controlled stop, the driver of this vehicle accelerated and drove at a high rate of speed from Illinois into Missouri.

Officers observed Esparza, the front seat passenger, throw a pistol out of the window of the vehicle in St. Louis and were able to recover the pistol.

The Nissan was eventually stopped and Esparza was apprehended.

A computer check revealed that he was a convicted felon.

Esparza faces up to ten years in prison.

He could also be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum sentence greater than described.

In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

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