Man from Ferguson caught with gun after police chase sentenced to 19 years in prison

Weapons Charge News Graphic

A felon from Ferguson, Missouri who was caught with a gun after fleeing from police in St. Louis was sentenced to 19 years in prison.

On July 19, 2021, Anthony Willis, now 30, fled from St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers who tried to pull him over after he failed to stop at a stop sign in the Wells Goodfellow neighborhood.

Willis drove past another stop sign before other officers used spike strips to deflate his tires. He kept driving until he hit another vehicle at Goodfellow and Natural Bridge, then got out and ran. He was caught a short distance away. Willis left a loaded .40 caliber Glock handgun in the car.

As a convicted felon, Willis is barred from possessing a firearm. Willis was convicted of the 2010 robbery of a Del Taco in St. Louis and the robbery of a Popeye’s Chicken manager in St. Louis County on two occasions in 2010. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and was on parole at the time of the police chase. Due to his prior convictions, he was considered an “armed career criminal,” which meant he faced a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison. 

Willis was found guilty by a jury on November 16 of a felony charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Martin and Donald Boyce are prosecuting the case.