ROCKFORD, Ill.

Four men have been arrested and six firearms seized in a Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office investigation targeting stolen and illegal firearms possession, authorities said.

Suspects arrested include:

  • Deonte K. Blair, 38, of Janesville, who faces possible charges of possession of a firearm by a felon, armed violence, possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, aggravated fleeing and eluding law enforcement officers and driving while his license was revoked.
  • Frederick Johnson, 28, of Janesville, who faces possible charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, armed violence, possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance and obstructing identification.
  • Keon K. Winford, 26, of Machesney Park, Illinois, who faces possible charges of possession of a stolen firearm, unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon.
  • Jay L. Fizer Jr., 18, of Rockford, Illinois, who faces possible charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon (two counts), possession of cannabis (10-30 grams) and having no firearms owner identification.

Winnebago County sheriff’s officials have been targeting gun crimes aggressively over the last 10 days, according to a news release.

On Saturday, sheriff’s officials and a police dog stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation at Kishwaukee and Ranger streets in Rockford. The vehicle matched that of a suspect vehicle in an earlier shots-fired incident in Rockford. A subsequent search of the vehicle yielded two handguns, according to the release.

Fizer, who was the driver, was arrested.

Winford also was arrested Saturday during a traffic stop at South Central and Harding avenues in Rockford. A sheriff’s office police dog assisted, and a subsequent search of the vehicle yielded what police believed was a stolen handgun and ski mask, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. Winford then was arrested.

Blair and Johnson were arrested at 1:22 a.m. Monday. A sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop a vehicle on North Main Street in Rockford for a traffic violation. After a brief pursuit, the vehicle stopped at North Main Street at Roscoe Road, according to the release.

A search of the vehicle yielded 147 grams of methamphetamine. During the pursuit, authorities determined that a handgun had been thrown from the vehicle. They searched North Main Street in daylight and found a handgun, according to the release.

During the past week, two other handguns, one of which was stolen, were recovered during narcotics investigations by the sheriff’s office’s narcotics unit, according to the release. Those cases are still being investigated.