DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Alabama

For Immediate Release

Friday, November 17, 2017
Louis V. Franklin, Sr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Clark Morris or Doug Howard

Montgomery Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison After Shootout at Convenience Store

Montgomery, Alabama – Christopher Gilcrest (34) of Montgomery, Alabama, was sentenced yesterday to 120 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of ammunition, announced United States Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr.  Federal law prohibits a person convicted of a felony from possessing firearms or ammunition.

A jury found Gilcrest guilty of the charge after a trial in June of this year.  Evidence presented at the trial showed that on October 23, 2016, Gilcrest went to the Value Gas Food Store on Highland Avenue in Montgomery just after midnight.  After approaching the store, he began to argue with a man in the parking lot.  During the argument, Gilcrest pulled out a gun.  At this point, the other man produced his own firearm and Gilcrest shot him in the leg.  Several shots were exchanged between them and Gilcrest fled the scene after firing his weapon at least six times.  A total of three people were struck by bullets during the gunfire, including the defendant and an innocent bystander.      

Although Gilcrest’s gun could not be recovered, the Montgomery Police Department (MPD) was able to collect spent shell casings from the scene immediately after the shooting.   After seeing surveillance camera footage of the shooting and the ballistics examination of the casings, the jury found that the casings came from the gun that Gilcrest was firing.

Court records show that this is not the first time that Gilcrest has faced charges of being a felon in possession of firearms or ammunition.  In 2009, he was convicted of illegally possessing a handgun as a felon.   

Following his prison sentence of 10 years in prison, Gilcrest will be subject to 3 years of supervised release.  There is no parole in the federal system. 

“It is unfortunate that as a nation we have experienced a significant increase in violent crime and, unfortunately, Montgomery is not immune from this problem,” stated U.S Attorney Franklin.  “We are committed to aggressively prosecuting all violations of the federal firearms laws to combat this disturbing and dangerous trend.  We will use every tool in our law enforcement arsenal to protect the citizens of this district and deter others from using a gun to resolve conflict.”

“This successful prosecution and sentencing speak to the importance of the cooperative relationships within the criminal justice system,” said Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley.  “We appreciate working with the U.S. Attorney and his staff to increase safety throughout the City of Montgomery and to achieve justice.”

ATF Special Agent in Charge, Steve Gerido remarked, “Protecting the public by the removal of the criminal element that commits acts of violence with a firearm was the result of the combined efforts by ATF, Montgomery Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office”

U.S. Attorney Franklin would like to thank the following entities for their assistance in investigating this case: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Montgomery Police Department (MPD).  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Bradley Bodiford and Ben Baxley.

Field Division: Nashville Field Division