For Immediate Release
Federal Jury Convicts Omaha Man of Drug and Firearms Offenses
Acting United States Attorney Steven Russell announced that on September 30, 2022, a federal jury in the District of Nebraska found Prince L. Spellman, 39, of Omaha, guilty of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, cocaine, or phencyclidine (PCP), possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and felon in possession of a firearm. United States District Judge Brian C. Buescher presided over the jury trial and will sentence Spellman on January 4, 2023.
On the evening of March 8, 2021, Omaha police officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert in the area of 2877 Fort Street in Omaha. The officers observed a silver Jeep Cherokee in the area which appeared to be consistent with 911 callers’ descriptions of a suspect vehicle involved in the shots fired incident. The officers followed the Jeep and obtained the license plate number and registration information but did not have sufficient information to stop it at that time. Thereafter, they returned to the area of 5628 N. 29th Street, where they obtained additional information from witnesses and collected 9mm bullet casings from the street. The witnesses’ information regarding the suspect vehicle confirmed that the Jeep Cherokee they observed earlier was, in fact, the correct suspect vehicle.
On the following day, March 9, 2021, at about 9:00 p.m., an Omaha Police Department gang unit detective was on patrol in an unmarked police vehicle near 40th Street and Bedford Avenue and observed the suspect vehicle traveling northbound. The detective recalled the description of the suspect vehicle and the license plate number from the prior evening when the shots fired incident occurred. The detective requested assistance from marked units to stop the suspect Jeep Cherokee, which was accomplished at a McDonald’s restaurant in the area of 30th and Taylor Streets. Three occupants were ordered from the Jeep. In plain view, on the floorboard behind the driver’s seat, officers observed a pink and black Tanfoglio Witness P-Compact 9mm handgun.
Spellman was the driver of the Jeep and was searched. Officers located a vial of brown liquid in Spellman’s groin that was later determined to contain PCP. Officers also recovered a bag containing approximately 55 grams of white powder, later confirmed as cocaine through lab testing. Lastly, officers found a bottle containing 100 blue pills stamped "M”, which were later Department of Justice determined to contain fentanyl. Spellman, who has an extensive record of felony convictions, was arrested. His prior felony convictions include Possession of a Controlled Substance, Criminal Impersonation (False Information), Strangulation, all in the District Court of Douglas County, Nebraska, and a prior conviction for Felon in Possession of a Firearm in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska.
Employees of the Omaha Police Department later examined the firearm recovered from the Jeep and casings recovered on March 8, 2021 and determined that the firearm found in the Jeep was the same firearm used during the shots fired call requiring the police response on the evening of March 8, 2021.
This case was investigated by the Omaha Police Department with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The University of Nebraska Medical Center provided laboratory services for the investigation.