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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Nevada

For Immediate Release

Friday, February 25, 2022
Christopher Chiou
, United States Attorney

Colorado Felon Sentenced to Prison for Unlawful Possession of Firearms

LAS VEGAS – A Colorado felon was sentenced today to eight and a half years in prison for unlawful possession of firearms.

Russell Cates (43) pleaded guilty in July 2021 to one count of felon in possession of a firearm. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan sentenced Cates to three years of supervised release.

According to court documents, Cates — who was on supervised release for a previous felony conviction — absconded from his supervision in Colorado. He then obtained stolen firearms in Colorado and transported them to Las Vegas, with the intent to sell those firearms illegally. On or about August 24, 2019, after attempting to flee, Cates was arrested by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers during an investigation into a suspected stolen vehicle. A search of the vehicle revealed 10 firearms (including a semiautomatic firearm capable of using large capacity magazines), ammunition, and magazines. Cates admitted that several firearms were stolen. He is prohibited by law from possessing firearms and ammunition due to at least five prior felony convictions, including a robbery conviction in Dallas County, Texas.

Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Patrick Gorman of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the ATF. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Fang prosecuted the case.

If you have information about illegal firearms activity, submit an anonymous tip to ATF by calling the hotline at 1-800-ATF-GUNS (1-800-283-4867) or through the ReportIt mobile app.

San Francisco Field Division