U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Minnesota
District of Minnesota
For Immediate Release
August 16, 2012
B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney
Contact: Jeanne F. Cooney, Director of Community Relations
Federal Jury Finds Career Criminal Guilty of Possessing .38-caliber Revolver
MINNEAPOLIS – Late yesterday in federal court, a trial jury found a 24-year-old career criminal guilty of possessing a .38-caliber revolver. Lewis Pate, no known address, was convicted on one count of possession of a firearm by a career criminal. Pate was indicted on May 8, 2012.
The evidence presented at trial proved that on March 20, 2012, St. Paul police were called to the 980 block of Reaney Avenue at approximately 2:30 p.m., following a report of shots fired. Witnesses claimed three men had exchanged gunfire in a nearby alley. A police canine tracked the scent of one of the reported suspects to a house in the 970 block of Margaret Avenue. There, police found Pate inside. During the execution of a search warrant at the house, police also found a six-shot revolver with four live rounds. It was in the bathroom clothes hamper, wrapped in a towel.
Because he is a felon, Pate is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm at any time. His prior Ramsey County convictions include auto theft and fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle (2007) and auto theft and fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle (2008). Pate was also convicted in Hennepin County for third-degree burglary in 2008 and Dakota County for aggravated robbery in 2010.
Since those offenses constitute crimes of violence, Pate is subject to the federal Armed Career Criminal Act. That act mandates a minimum of 15 years in prison for anyone convicted in federal court of being a felon in possession of a firearm if that person also has at least three prior state or federal convictions for crimes of violence or serious drug crimes. United States District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery will determine Pate's sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.
This case is the result of an investigation by the St. Paul Police Department and the U.S. ATF. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey S. Paulsen.
Note, this case is part of PSN, a comprehensive, strategic approach to reducing gun crime in America. PSN, launched by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2001, encourages cooperative, multi-jurisdictional law enforcement and crime prevention efforts.