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Felon facing new weapons, battery charges

Published: Friday, March 22, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
Guillermo Santos Swearinge

STERLING – A 26-year-old Sterling man with a lengthy criminal history was arrested Thursday and is being held on domestic battery and gun charges.

According to a news release from Sterling police:

Illinois State Police answered a report of a domestic battery in the 500 block of East Avenue, where officers were told Guillermo Santos Swearinger had “battered” a relative, then left with a shotgun and a rifle he took from the garage.

At 10:49 a.m., state police sent out an alert to other law enforcement to be on the lookout for Swearinger, who was armed, traveling in a maroon Lincoln and possibly en route to the 800 block of West Fourth Street.

Sterling police set up surveillance in the area, and saw Swearinger looking out a door of a home. Another car pulled up, and Swearinger came out with an object concealed in a coat that he put in the vehicle’s back seat.

The vehicle drove to a house in the 1500 block of West Fourth, where police searched it and found a .22-caliber rifle inside the coat.

State police arrested Swearinger and charged him with domestic battery, then turned him over to Sterling police, who charged him with unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, a felony, and possession of a firearm without a Firearm Owner’s Identification card, a misdemeanor.

He is in Whiteside County Jail awaiting a hearing this afternoon.

In 2005, Swearinger was sentenced in Whiteside County to 4 years for aggravated battery. He was sentenced to 3 years in 2006 in Lee County for being a felon in possession of a firearm, and was sentenced in 2007 to 4 years, again in Whiteside County, for possession of a stolen firearm.

He also was one of the witnesses who testified in the 2008 gang shooting that happened that July near the Hennepin Canal; at the time, he admitted to being a gang member.

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