CENTRALIA, IL — A 35-year-old Centralia man has been sentenced to more than two years in federal prison after he earlier pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Jerry Courtney was facing up to 10 years in prison but was instead sentenced Tuesday to 27 months in federal prison to be served consecutively with any sentence he receives in a 2012 Marion County felony weapons case.
He was also ordered to serve three years supervised release in the federal case. The federal charge stems from Courtney’s arrest on the evening of April 11, 2021, when Centralia Police Officer Michael Peebles was reportedly on patrol in the area of Kerr and Elm streets in Centralia and stopped a vehicle for driving without headlights. A passenger in the vehicle reportedly jumped out of the car and fled on foot after dropping his cell phone next to the vehicle. Officer Peebles observed the male passenger run behind a home at 411 East Kerr, while the driver began leaving the traffic stop. The officer ran to the vehicle and ordered the driver, Bianca Meeks to put the car in park. Meeks subsequently identified the passenger as Courtney who it was found was on parole from the Illinois Department of Corrections.
A green bag in the car was ultimately identified as belonging to Courtney and a 9 mm Taurus handgun was reportedly found inside. Per the plea agreement, Courtney must forfeit that weapon and all its ammunition. At the time of the April traffic stop, Courtney was on parole for convictions in the 2012 Marion County case for felony residential burglary and aggravated possession of between 11 and 20 stolen firearms.