ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A Rockford man was convicted today after a three-day trial on a federal gun charge. Nicholas Stenson, 28, was found guilty by a federal jury following a trial before U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala for illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.
According to the indictment and evidence at trial, on July 10, 2011, shortly after 2:00 am, members of the Rockford Police Department’s M3 Unit observed Stenson on Rock Street standing next to a green Pontiac. When officers parked their squad car near the Pontiac and activated the emergency lights, Stenson ran to the back of the Pontiac, reached into his waistband and threw a gun underneath the Pontiac. Officers recovered the black Colt .45 handgun thrown by Stenson and found it was loaded with six rounds of Blazer .45 caliber ammunition.
Stenson was originally charged in state court and was transferred to federal court where he was charged under tough federal firearms laws as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program.
Project Safe Neighborhoods is an intensive, cooperative effort between local, state, and federal law enforcement to attack gun crimes. The cornerstone of the program is that every defendant committing an offense involving a gun will be reviewed for possible federal prosecution in order to obtain the harshest penalties for the worst offenders.