U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Minnesota
District of Minnesota
For Immediate Release
December 2, 2011
B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney
Contact: Jeanne F. Cooney, Director of Community Relations
Brandon Felon Sentenced as Armed Career Criminal for Possessing a 12-Gauge Shotgun and .22-Caliber Rifle
MINNEAPOLIS – Earlier today in federal court in Duluth, a felon from the west-central Minnesota community of Brandon was sentenced as an armed career criminal for possessing two firearms. United States District Court Judge Richard H. Kyle sentenced Jeffrey Allen Stoltz, age 49, to 210 months in prison on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Stoltz was indicted on March 15, 2011, and was convicted on July 27, 2011.
The evidence presented at trial proved that on June 29, 2010, Stoltz possessed a 12-gauge shotgun and a .22-caliber rifle. A Douglas County complaint states that on November 16, 2010, Stoltz was stopped by police for a traffic violation on State Highway 55, east of Lowry, Minnesota. Earlier, authorities saw the vehicle leave a residence that was under surveillance as part of a narcotics’ investigation. At the time of the traffic stop, officers spotted a digital scale in the vehicle and found $741 in cash on Stoltz, who provided them with a false name. He wasarrested by Pope County Sheriff deputies. During the execution of a search warrant on that same vehicle, police found two receipts from an Alexandria pawn shop that indicated Stoltz had pawned the guns on June 29, 2010.
Because Stoltz has at least one prior felony conviction, he is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms at any time. His prior convictions include third-degree burglary (Chippewa County in 1989 and Stearns County in 1993), first-degree burglary (Benton County in 2003), fleeing a peace officer (Douglas County in 2003), and being a felon in possession of a firearm (Douglas County in 2003). Since many of those felony convictions were for violent crimes, Stoltz was subject to the federal armed career criminal statute in the current federal case. That statute mandates a minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison upon conviction. Given that the federal criminal justice system does not have parole, offenders serve virtually their entire sentence behind bars.
This case was the result of an investigation by the West Central Minnesota Narcotics Task Force, the Pope County Sheriff's Office, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew S. Dunne and Clifford B. Wardlaw.
Note, this case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, an initiative launched by the U.S. Justice Department in 2001 to promote a multi-jurisdictional, comprehensive approach to reducing gun crime in America. PSN provides resources to strengthen law enforcement and crime prevention partnerships that are working to make our streets and communities safer.