DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 12, 2023
Brandon Bonaparte Brown
, United States Attorney

Lake Charles Man Sentenced to Over Six Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing a Firearm

LAKE CHARLES, La. – Johntrel Joel Lewis, 34, of Lake Charles, was sentenced today for illegally possessing a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown. Lewis was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James D. Cain Jr. to 78 months (6 years, 6 months) in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release for the offense. 

According to information presented in court, on August 6, 2022, deputies with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle operated by Lewis. Lewis continued traveling in his vehicle evading law enforcement, eventually abandoning the vehicle and fleeing on foot. Law enforcement officers apprehended Lewis and provided him his Miranda advisements. A search of his person revealed three clear bags containing a substance believed to be crack cocaine weighing approximately 20.8 grams, as well as over $900 in his pants pocket. Inside the vehicle, deputies located a clear bag near the vehicle in the direction Lewis had fled on foot, as well as a Taurus, model TH9C 9mm handgun loaded with 11 rounds of ammunition, with one round in the chamber, which was found between the front passenger seat and center console.

Law enforcement officers learned that Lewis had previously been convicted of illegally carrying a weapon by a convicted felon in the presence of a controlled substance in 2018. As a convicted felon, Lewis knew that he was prohibited from possessing any firearm or ammunition. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) examined the recovered firearm and determined it was manufactured in Brazil and had traveled in or affected interstate commerce.

The case was investigated by ATF and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. McCoy.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. PSN is part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.


New Orleans Field Division