An Evanston man has been sentenced to nearly eight years in federal prison on charges he illegally possessed a semi-automatic handgun.

Darius Morales, 32, was arrested by Evanston police on May 8, 2019, after police heard shots fired in an alley in the 2100 block of Dewey Avenue and saw a silver Jeep Commander drive off from the alley, only to crash a few minutes later after hitting a fence at 733 Lincoln St.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says Morales, a passenger in the Jeep, left a gun on the fence and tried to run off, but was arrested a few blocks away.

A federal jury last year convicted Morales of illegally possessing the firearm. He had previously been convicted of multiple felonies and was prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm.

He was sentenced Friday to 94 months in prison by Judge Amy J. St. Eve.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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