DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Tennessee

For Immediate Release

Monday, February 3, 2020
D. Michael Dunavant
, United States Attorney
Contact: Cherri Green

Armed Career Criminal Sentenced to 15 Years for Shoot-Out with Memphis Police

Memphis, TN – Quinton Yates, 50, has been sentenced to 188 months in federal prison for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and for Possession of an Unregistered Shotgun with a Barrel Less Than 18 Inches. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the sentence today.

According to information presented in court, on August 23, 2018, detectives from the Memphis Police Department, Organized Crime Unit (OCU) were conducting a drug investigation on Young Street. While detectives were standing outside of their vehicles, Quinton Yates exited a residence and began firing shots at them. Detectives leapt into their vehicles to clear the line of fire. As one of the detectives returned fire, Yates retreated inside the house. A SWAT team set up a barricade/perimeter around the house and a standoff ensued.

Several hours later, Yates and three other individuals who were in the home surrendered. Law enforcement recovered three firearms, including an assault rifle, a sawed-off barrel shotgun and a .22 long rifle caliber revolver. Yates admitted to opening fire on the detectives from the residence but stated he did not know they were police officers. He also stated the three individuals at his home had nothing to do with the shooting.

Yates is a convicted felon, having prior convictions for robbery, aggravated assault, and carjacking, and was still on parole at the time of this shooting incident. As a result of these previous violent felony convictions, Yates was determined to be an armed career criminal under the federal sentencing guidelines, and subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 180 months.

On February 3, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Jon P. McCalla, sentenced Yates to 188 months in federal prison followed by 3 years supervised release.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "Convicted felons who possess firearms are an inherent danger to community, as seen in this case. Yates was an armed career criminal who continued to possess and use multiple firearms while on parole for violent felonies. This sentence is just punishment for such a brazen attack on police, and will incapacitate him from committing additional gun violence for a significant period of time, making us all safer. Gun Crime is Max Time."

This case was investigated by the Memphis Police Department’s Organized Crime Unit (OCU), Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Assistant U.S. Attorney Raney Irwin prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.


Nashville Field Division