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Gang member to serve 9 years for pointing gun at Aurora officer

Erik J. Esparza | Kane County Sheriff's Office

A 20-year-old gang member was sentenced to nine years in prison Friday for pointing a gun at an Aurora police officer in July.

Erik J. Esparza, of the 3N block of East Mary Lane in St. Charles, was convicted Feb. 3 for felony unlawful possession of a gun by a gang member, felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and misdemeanor aggravated assault, according to a statement from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.

During his trial, prosecutors presented evidence that at about 7:20 p.m. July 11, 2015 two Aurora police officers were inside an unmarked police car and working undercover in the vicinity of Parker Avenue and Pearl Street on Aurora’s near east side, according to the statement.

The officers saw Esparza and another person “acting suspiciously,” and when the officers drove toward the pair Esparza pointed a .45-caliber semiautomatic gun at one of the officers. The officer then fired two shots at Esparza, but no one was hit, according to the statement.

Esparza and the other person ran away, and police found Esparza lying in the weeds between two garages in the 300 block of East Ashland Avenue about an hour and a half later, according to the statement.

Along with the nine-year sentence, Esparza will serve a consecutive 14-day contempt of court sentence for not providing a DNA sample as stated in a court order. He will receive credit for 244 days served in the Kane County Jail, where he was held after his arrest in lieu of $200,000 bail, according to the statement.

The case against the individual who was with Esparza during the incident is pending.