DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

For Immediate Release

Friday, May 14, 2021
Francis M. (Trey) Hamilton III
, United States Attorney
Contact: Rachelle Barnes

Knoxville Man Arrested For Federal Firearms Violation

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On May 14, 2021, Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) arrested Kelvon Foster, 21, of Knoxville, TN, on a federal criminal complaint charging Foster with making false or fictitious statements in connection with the purchase of a firearm in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(a)(6).  Violations of that statutory provision are sometimes referred to informally as “straw purchasing.”  The complaint was issued by the Honorable H. Bruce Guyton, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee.  Foster later appeared before Judge Guyton, entered a not-guilty plea, and was released on conditions of supervision.  If convicted, Foster could face imprisonment of up to 10 years and other penalties.

According to documents filed with the court, the firearm at issue was recovered by law enforcement in connection with the officer-involved shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School on April 12, 2021.

Acting U.S. Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III of the Eastern District of Tennessee, and Resident Agent in Charge Keith Jordan of the ATF’s Knoxville Field Office made the announcement.

This prosecution is the result of an ongoing investigation by the ATF and the TBI.  The United States Attorney’s Office wishes to thank the Knox County Attorney General’s Office for its support of this federal investigation.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive national strategy that creates local partnerships with law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce existing gun laws. It provides more options to prosecutors, allowing them to utilize local, state, and federal laws to ensure that criminals who commit gun crime face tough sentences. PSN gives each federal district the flexibility it needs to focus on individual challenges that a specific community face.

Members of the public are reminded that the charges in the criminal complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Nashville Field Division