DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Monday, September 24, 2018
D. Michael Dunavant
, United States Attorney
Contact: Cherri Green

Convicted Felon Found Guilty of Possessing a Firearm after Opening Fire on Family Members

Memphis, TN – A federal jury has convicted a local man for illegally possessing a firearm. D. Michael Dunavant, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee announced the guilty verdict today.

According to the information presented in court, on May 27, 2017, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Leon Ward, 33, of Memphis, drove his blue Chevrolet Impala to the 1900 block of Clovia Lane, where he displayed a .40 caliber pistol fromthe window of the vehicle. Ward then got out of the car and began firing shots in the area of several of his cousins, his brother, and three-year-old nephew.

On Friday, September 21, 2018, a federal jury convicted Ward on one count of possessing a firearm after being a convicted felon, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C., § 922(g).

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "This is precisely the type of violent gun offender that threatens lives and public safety in Memphis. This brazen and recidivist violent behavior must be met with swift and significant punishment. As a result of this conviction and continued prosecution, the citizens of Memphis and West Tennessee are safer. Gun Crime is Max Time."

Leon Ward is currently serving a 42-month sentence for violating the terms of his supervised release. Ward is also facing additional federal charges involving an unrelated robbery attempt and use of a firearm in June of 2017. That indictment was returned by a federal grand jury earlier this year.

Sentencing is set for December 14, 2018, before U.S. District Court Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr. Ward faces up to 10 years imprisonment on this offense.

This case was investigated by the Project Safe Neighborhoods Task Force; Memphis Police Department and Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryce Phillips and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bayonle Osundare are prosecuting this case on the government’s behalf.


Nashville Field Division