Man who was in U.S. illegally held girlfriend at gunpoint in Alton, prosecutors say

A man who had immigrated to the U.S. illegally has been sentenced to federal prison for a crime he committed in Alton in February.

Jose Alberto Ixtepan-Chagala, 26, of Veracruz, Mexico, pleaded guilty in the U.S. Federal Court, Southern District of Illinois., to one count of being an unlawful alien in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison.

The charge stems from an incident on the night of Feb. 11, where Ixtepan-Chagala reportedly woke his girlfriend by holding a 9mm handgun to her head at their residence, a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office stated. According to police reports, he took her outside at gunpoint and fired the gun into the ground several times.

Several young children were inside the home during the altercation, the release stated. Responding officers recovered the gun in a nearby yard and arrested Ixtepan-Chagala, later finding out he was not a legal resident.

In lieu of probation, Ixtepan-Chagala must go through deportation hearings when he finishes his prison term, the release stated.

Hana Muslic has been a public safety reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018, covering everything from crime and courts to accidents, fires and natural disasters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.