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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Eastern District of Tennessee

For Immediate Release

Wednesday June 13, 2012

William C. Killian, United States Attorney

Contact: Sharry Deadman-Beard, Public Information Officer
(210) 384-7440

Felon Convicted of Transporting Ammunition to New York Drug Trafficking Organization

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — On June 13, 2012, Paul Douglas Prater, 50, of Niagra Falls, N.Y., was convicted by a jury of being a felon in possession of ammunition, after a one–day trial in U.S. District Court before the Honorable Leon Jordan.

Sentencing has been set for October 14, 2012. Prater faces up to life in federal prison.

An investigation conducted by the Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) showed that Prater was transporting ammunition from Tennessee to a violent drug trafficking organization on the New York–Canadian border. Testimony at trial showed this drug trafficking organization was transporting large quantities of marijuana and cocaine across the Canadian border for distribution in the Niagara Falls area of New York. On March 17, 2011, Prater was stopped by the Tennessee Highway Patrol Interdiction Unit (THP) in Sullivan County, based on information provided by HSI. Prater was found to be in possession of 500 rounds of pistol ammunition, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) was contacted and joined the investigation.

Agencies involved in the investigation included HSI, THP, and ATF. The United States was represented at trial by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Reeves, Eastern District of Tennessee and Melissa Marangola, Western District of New York.

U.S. Attorney William Killian praised the efforts of the agencies involved and pledged to continue to attack violent and drug trafficking crimes within and traveling through the Eastern District of Tennessee.