DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Andrew Birge
, United States Attorney
Contact: Breane Warner

Judge Imposes 15-Year Sentence on Lansing-Area Felon in Possession of a Firearm

Aaron Donquwe Perkins Sentenced to 180 months for Unlawfully Possessing a 9mm Pistol

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that Chief Judge Robert J. Jonker of the Western District of Michigan sentenced Lansing-area resident Aaron Donquwe Perkins to 15 years in prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Perkins admitted possessing a Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol, despite having previous convictions for assault with a dangerous weapon and two convictions for delivery/manufacture of controlled substances, all contrary to Michigan law.

Mr. Perkins’ extensive criminal history subjected him to the enhanced penalties of the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), under which a person who violates the federal felon in possession statute after having been convicted previously of three or more violent felonies or serious drug offenses must serve a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years.

“My office prioritizes the prosecution of offenders with prior violent felonies and drug trafficking crimes in their history,” stated U.S. Attorney Birge. “We will use every tool in our toolbox—like the Armed Career Criminal Act—to keep firearms away from dangerous felons like Mr. Perkins.”

Special Agent in Charge James Deir of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) noted: “As a multi-time convicted felon, Aaron Donquwe Perkins was provided multiple opportunities to turn his life around. Instead, he choose to return to a life of crime. In doing so, he put innocent lives in danger. With the help of our law enforcement partners, ATF remains vigilante in the effort to protect our communities from violent criminals.”

This case was investigated by the ATF and the Lansing Police Department and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Austin J. Hakes as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods, a nationwide initiative to reduce violent crime. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor’s offices, and federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement work closely together to identify and prosecute individuals responsible for driving violent crime in our communities in order to make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Individuals with information or concerns about violent crime or firearms offenses should contact local law enforcement. For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods, visit: https://www.justice.gov/psn.

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