SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A Springfield, Illinois, man, Demetrius Robertson, 30, of 2000 block of South 8th Street, was sentenced on September 27, 2022 to an aggregate 60 months’ imprisonment for possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Robertson also was sentenced to a consecutive six months’ imprisonment and six months’ home confinement for wire fraud connected to pandemic Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Each term of imprisonment was to be followed by a two-year term of supervised release, all to run concurrently. Additionally, Robertson must pay restitution in the amount of $45,327.00 in connection with the wire fraud offense.
At Robertson’s sentencing hearing, the government presented evidence that Robertson was found in possession of an illegal firearm after neighbors noticed he was walking around with a gun. The government also presented evidence that Robertson fraudulently obtained two separate PPP loans.
Also at the hearing, U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough found that Robertson knowingly possessed the firearm, a Glock 29 handgun, in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, specifically possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Additionally, Judge Myerscough found that Robertson provided false information on applications to obtain PPP loans. Robertson received a total of $40,327.00 in loan funds.
Judge Myerscough also noted that the illegal possession of firearms is a profoundly serious crime, and that the safety of the community is jeopardized as a result of firearms offenses. Judge Myerscough went on to note the serious impact that Covid-19 fraud has had on the community, stating that Robertson’s receipt of loan funds likely meant another business folded because they were unable to obtain aid.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Robertson with the weapon and drug charges in May 2021 and returned a second, separate indictment charging Robertson with the fraud offenses in February 2022. Robertson pleaded guilty in May 2022.
“The people of the Central District of Illinois have a right to live a life free from gun violence,” said U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois Gregory K. Harris. “This office will continue to hold firearms offenders and drug traffickers accountable. It also is unconscionable that criminals sought to capitalize on the pandemic by stealing funds meant for hard working small businesses.”
The United States Secret Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Explosives; the Illinois State Police; and the Springfield Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah E. Seberger represented the government in the prosecution.