U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Minnesota
District of Minnesota
For Immediate Release
October 25, 2012
B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney
Contact: Jeanne F. Cooney
Minneapolis Felon Sentenced For Possessing A .40-caliber Pistol
MINNEAPOLIS – Today in federal court, a 30-year-old felon from Minneapolis was sentenced for possessing a .40-caliber pistol. United States District Judge Ann D. Montgomery sentenced Aaron Lee Gant to 86 months in prison on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Gant, who was indicted on March 5, 2012, pleaded guilty on June 11, 2012.
Because Gant has been previously convicted of a felony, he is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms at any time. His prior Ramsey County felony convictions include a third-degree sale of controlled substances crime (2003), a fifth-degree sale of controlled substances crime (2004), and a fifth-degree controlled substances crime (2007), as well as aiding and abetting a first-degree controlled substances crime in Hennepin County (2006).
According to a law enforcement affidavit filed in the present federal case, St. Paul police executed a traffic stop in east St. Paul on December 31, 2011. The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Gant, exited the car immediately after being pulled over. He then ignored police orders to get back in the car and turn off the engine. Instead, he fled on foot, with the police pursuing him. Police saw the firearm in his possession as he fled. He was later found hiding in an exterior basement stairwell about a block away. The gun he had been carrying was located behind a nearby shed.
This case was the result of an investigation by the St. Paul Police Department and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Surya Saxena.
Note, this case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods ("PSN"), 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 work to make our communities safer.