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USAO Press Release - Another “Project Exile Minneapolis” Indictment Is Unsealed in Federal Court

For Immediate Release

September 15, 2010

B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney

Contact: Jeanne F. Cooney
Director of Community Relations
(612) 664-5611

Another “Project Exile Minneapolis” Indictment Is Unsealed in Federal Court

Another federal indictment credited to Project Exile Minneapolis has been unsealed. It charges Earl Louis Ollie, age 38, of Minneapolis, with being a career criminal in possession of a firearm. The indictment, filed last week, was unsealed following Harris’s arrest and initial appearance in federal court late yesterday.

Project Exile Minneapolis is a law enforcement initiative, launched on July 22, 2010, as part of a City-wide effort to reduce gun violence. Through Project Exile, the Minneapolis Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives work together to apprehend serial criminals for violations of gun laws. Then, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office teams up with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to determine where those offenders will most effectively be prosecuted–State or federal court. Those determinations are based on the offenders’ criminal histories and current charges, among other factors.

Earl Louis Ollie is a convicted felon. His past convictions include strong-arm robbery in Greenville, Mississippi, in 1992; possession of a short-barreled shotgun in Ramsey County in 1995; and third-degree sale of a controlled substance in Hennepin County in 2000. As a result, he is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms at any time. Nonetheless, on August 9, 2010, when Minneapolis police initiated a traffic stop involving the car Ollie was driving, they allegedly found a 22-caliber, six-shot revolver in his possession.

Because Ollie’s three prior felony convictions are for crimes of violence or serious drug offenses, he is now being prosecuted as a federal armed career criminal. Accordingly, if convicted of the sole count of felon in possession of a firearm , he will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison. All sentences, of course, will be determined by a federal district court judge.

Presently, several other Project Exile Minneapolis cases are being prepared for federal charges. In addition, County and federal prosecutors continue to review all Minneapolis gun cases on a regular basis.

The Ollie case is the result of an investigation by the Minneapolis Police Department and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Dees.

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.