For Immediate Release
Illegal Alien Convicted of Possessing Loaded Firearms and Felony Assault on a Federal Officer
Orlando, Florida – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces that a federal jury has found Oniel Christopher Russell (40, Jamaica), a/k/a OG Russel, guilty of possessing firearms and ammunition as an illegal alien and felony assault on a federal officer. He faces a maximum penalty of 18 years in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 9, 2018.
Russell was indicted in May 2017.
According to evidence presented at trial, Russell last entered the United States on October 29, 2008, as a non-immigrant visitor with authorization to remain in the country until January 3, 2009. He failed to depart and remained without any lawful immigration status thereafter. On August 24, 2013, deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office pulled Russell over for a traffic violation and subsequently conducted a search of his vehicle. They located a loaded firearm in the glove compartment and another loaded firearm, with one round in the chamber, under the passenger seat where a female passenger had been sitting prior to the traffic stop. Russell gave a written confession to the gun recovered from the glove compartment, but denied knowledge of the other firearm. During the trial, the female passenger testified that Russell had handed her the gun right before the deputy pulled them over, and told her to put it under the seat and say it was hers. Neither were arrested that night on firearms charges.
In October 2016, deportation officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) received a lead as to Russell’s whereabouts and attempted to locate him for six months. On April 25, 2017, the officers located Russell and attempted to execute an administrative warrant for his arrest. While trying to handcuff him, Russell dragged one of the officers 6 to 10 feet, slamming him against the house in an attempt to flee back into the home. Only when another officer pulled his firearm out and ordered Russell to stop resisting, did he allow himself to be handcuffed and taken into custody.
This case was investigated by ICE, Enforcement and Removal Operations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Federal Protective Service. It was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Christina R. Downes, on assignment from ICE’s Office of the Principal Legal Advisor.