For Immediate Release
Federal Indictments Charge Federal Firearm Offenses Project Safe Neighborhood Prosecutions
United States Attorney Kenyen R. Brown of the Southern District of Alabama announces that Indictments charging defendants with federal firearms charges were unsealed today. This action follows early morning arrests of many of these defendants, by a multi-agency group of law enforcement led by Special Agents and Task Force Officers of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. The majority of the charges resulted from investigations of illegal firearm possession, which were referred by the Prichard Police Department to the local office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in cooperation with the Mobile Police Department.
The Indictments charge the majority of the defendants with being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. In most of the cases the defendants were prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition by virtue of a prior felony conviction, which is a violation of Title 18 United States Code § 922(g)(1). The statutory maximum penalty provided by law for each of these charges is 10 years imprisonment. However, if a defendant has qualifying prior felony convictions for serious drug offense or crimes of violence, the minimum mandatory sentence is 15 years, up to life imprisonment.
United States Attorney Kenyen Brown offered commendations for the collaborative efforts of the law enforcement agencies. “Today we are witness to the positive effects of cooperation and leadership in our community’s law enforcement agencies. I especially want to recognize the lead role taken by the local office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. It is our mission to offer every bit of assistance available to small communities throughout our District, like the City of Prichard, who are striving to address violent crime, and the effects it has on its citizens.”
Prichard Mayor Troy Ephriam said, "We appreciate the relationships and continued support of our county, state and federal law enforcement partners as we continue to make the City of Prichard a safe place to live and work. These agencies clearly want to help. We see this kind of collaborative effort as the path forward and will continue to develop and leverage our relationships to use all of the resources available to us in making our city a safe place to live and work."
Prichard Police Chief Bernard Parrish added, "Our top priority is to protect our citizens and keep the peace in the City of Prichard. It is important for people to know we are serious about enforcing the law and following the orders of the courts. We thank the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the U.S. Marshall's Office, Mobile County Sheriff's Office and, of course, our own officers from the Prichard Police Department for this well-planned, targeted effort to make our city safer. Their support and active involvement is invaluable.”
As in all criminal cases, the Indictment returned by the Grand Jury is only a charge and the Defendant is presumed innocent.