DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Idaho

For Immediate Release

Friday, August 17, 2018
Bart M. Davis
, United States Attorney
Contact: Cassie Fulghum

California Man Sentenced to 22 Years in Federal Prison for Unlawfully Possessing Firearms in Twin Falls

BOISE – On Wednesday, Eric Courtney Hunter, 39, of Victorville, California, was sentenced to 262 months in federal prison for unlawful possession of firearms by a felon, U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced.  Hunter was indicted by a grand jury on February 15, 2017.  The case went to trial on January 31, 2018, and ended with the jury finding Hunter guilty of all counts on February 5, 2018.

According to evidence presented at trial, on December 6, 2016, Twin Falls police officers responded to a 911 call reporting shots fired at a Twin Falls residence.  Officers found evidence that a gun had been fired, including a hole in the window and shotgun shells on the ground.  Witnesses at trial confirmed it was Hunter who fired the shotgun.  A month later on January 6, 2017, a woman reported to Twin Falls police that Hunter stole her BMW and $27,000.  When police found the BMW, Hunter was driving the vehicle and had $27,100 in his pocket.  During a search of the car, police found the shotgun in the backseat and ammunition in Hunter’s suitcase.  Hunter was prohibited from possessing firearms because he was convicted of felony crimes, including witness intimidation in Twin Falls County, Idaho on May 29, 2015.

Additional information presented at the sentencing hearing established that Hunter had eight prior felony convictions, three of which were violent felonies resulting in Hunter’s classification as an armed career criminal.  Because of his status as an armed career criminal, Hunter was required to serve a minimum sentence of fifteen years.  After considering everything, Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill sentenced Hunter to 262 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release.

This case was investigated by the Twin Falls Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office, and in coordination with the Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority.  In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

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