For Immediate Release
Kalamazoo Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Possessing a Firearm as a Felon
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — Forty-one-year-old Lamont Duane Dixon, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was sentenced to 180 months in prison, following his conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm as a felon. Under the federal Armed Career Criminal Act, Dixon was subject to a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence due to three prior felony convictions under Michigan law for manufacture/delivery of less than 50 grams of a narcotic drug.
In announcing the sentence, the Honorable Janet T. Neff, United States District Judge for the Western District of Michigan, stated that “all gun offenses are serious, to one extent or another.” The Court continued that the defendant’s personal history of addiction, drug dealing, and violent behavior compounded the seriousness of his offense. The Court underscored the need for the sentence to adequately punish the defendant and to promote respect for the law.
Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge commented that “Federal law provides a 15-year mandatory-minimum sentence for felons in possession of firearms specifically for defendants like Mr. Dixon—chronic, ‘career’ criminals who continue, time and again, to commit serious drug offenses or violent felonies and then pick up a firearm. The many sentences such defendants have received in the past for their multiple felony convictions simply have not done enough to deter them from committing more crimes and picking up firearms. These types of prosecutions are integral to our Office’s mission to pursue justice and ensure public safety.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) work closely with the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety to identify priority offenders, like Dixon, whose prior convictions, history of violence, or involvement in group violence, warrant federal prosecution. “Instead of becoming a productive member of society, Mr. Dixon continued to put innocent lives in danger by engaging in illegal activity,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Robin Shoemaker. “ATF will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to get violent criminals off the streets and behind bars.”
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety and ATF investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate Zell prosecuted the case.