U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Minnesota
District of Minnesota
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney
Contact: Jeanne F. Cooney, Director of Community Relations
Minneapolis Man Sentenced for Being a Career Criminal in Possession of a Firearm
MINNEAPOLIS — Earlier today in federal court in St. Paul, a 38–year–old felon from Minneapolis was sentenced for being a career criminal in possession of a 12–gauge shotgun. United States District Court Judge Donovan W. Frank sentenced Jeff Parker to 180 months in prison on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Because of Parker’s extensive criminal history, his sentence was enhanced under the Armed Career Criminal Act. Parker was indicted on October 18, 2010, and convicted by a jury on February 15, 2011. Trial evidence proved that Parker possessed the shotgun on February 24, 2010.
Because he is a convicted felon, Parker is prohibited from possessing a firearm at any time. Parker’s past convictions include third–degree assault in 1997, fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle in 1998, first–degree burglary and third–degree assault in 2001, and second–degree attempted sale of a controlled substance in 2007. All of these convictions were obtained by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. In addition, Parker was convicted in Illinois of unlawful possession of a weapon in a correctional facility in 1993 and armed robbery in 1991. Since at least three of Parker’s past felony convictions were for crimes of violence or serious drug offenses, sentencing in the current federal case was subject to the Armed Career Criminal Act which mandates a minimum of 15 years in prison if convicted.
This case was charged federally through Project Exile Minneapolis. That law enforcement initiative was 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 ATF 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 the circumstances of the current charges. To date, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has brought charges against close to approximately 15 serious habitual criminals through Project Exile Minneapolis.
This particular case was the result of an investigation by the Hennepin County Sheriffs Office, the Hennepin County Probation Office, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives–Violent Crime Impact Team. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Winter.