For Immediate Release
More Than 100 Defendants Charged Federally in 2018 Surge to Reduce Violent Crime in Louisville
Project Safe Neighborhoods Effort Continues Multi-Agency Partnership to Tackle Guns, Drugs, and Gangs
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman announced that more than 100 previous felony offenders possessing firearms have been charged so-far this year as one part of the ongoing Project Safe Neighborhoods effort to tackle violent crime in Metro Louisville.
The indictments returned were a result of the ongoing partnership between federal prosecutors and their counterparts from the Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office who work hand-in-hand with the Louisville Metro Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms (ATF), and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The combined effort is a key component of the Department of Justice’s PSN initiative - which targets the area’s most violent offenders.” This round of indictments brings the total number of defendants charged under the initiative in 2018 to 105. Overall, compared to fiscal year (FY) 2017, the total number of federal firearms cases filed in FY 2018 rose to 152, representing an increase of 60%.
“With over seventy homicides and two hundred fifty shootings in Louisville this year, we’re not there yet. This is, however, another deposit on our promise that federal, state, and local law enforcement will work as one to take violent offenders and their guns off the streets of our city,” stated U.S. Attorney Russell M. Coleman. “More to come.”
“ATF is committed to our on-going partnerships with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to reduce gun violence,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Stuart Lowrey of the Louisville Field Division. “During the past year, ATF investigated illegal sources of crime guns and those who illegally possessed and/or used guns to commit violent crimes in the Louisville Metro area. We will continue to aggressively pursue ‘traffickers and trigger pullers’ with every resource and technique available. In this way, ATF’s support of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods is making our communities safer for everyone.”
“Our community continues to be better protected by the cooperative efforts between the United States Attorney’s Office and the Jefferson County Office of Commonwealth’s Attorney,” stated Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine. “Prosecutors between our offices determine which jurisdiction can impose the maximum penalty. They work together to target those individuals who have illegally used or sold firearms in Jefferson County, threatening the safety of our citizens.”
The number of indictments represents a 61 percent increase in charging from 2017 to 2018.
One defendant charged this year, Elijah Eubanks, 20, of Louisville, Kentucky, had already been charged with attempted murder by the Jefferson County Commonwealth Attorney’s office for shooting at a police officer who approached his vehicle; he faces an additional federal charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Another defendant, Jamar Garrison, 33, of Louisville, Kentucky, was convicted July 27, 2018 in United States District Court on charges of possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. Mr. Garrison had been released on bond for state drug trafficking charges for the last two years when he was arrested after being found in possession of a loaded semiautomatic handgun, a mixture of heroin and fentanyl packaged for sale, several thousand dollars cash, and assorted other narcotics. The follow up investigation revealed that while released on bond on multiple pending felony drug indictments in Jefferson Circuit Court, Garrison had been using vehicles rented in the names of third parties in order to transport and traffic in heroin all over Louisville.
The latest round of indictments charges Ashlyn Marcum, 28, of Louisville, Kentucky, who was previously convicted in with assault of the 4th degree domestic violence twice in 2014, and again in 2018, with being a felon in possession of 37 firearms.
Joshua Bolin, 41, of Louisville, Kentucky, who was previously convicted of sexual abuse in the first degree in 2003, was also charged in the latest indictments with two counts of being a felon in possession of 27 firearms.
Defendants charged this year have previously been found guilty of numerous crimes including: burglary, facilitation to murder, manslaughter, cultivating marijuana with intent, narcotics trafficking, manufacturing methamphetamine, assault 4th degree domestic violence, sexual abuse in the first degree, second degree escape, fleeing/evading police, wanton endangerment, among other charges.
If convicted at trial, the maximum sentence for unlawfully possessing a firearm is no more than ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. If that firearm is possessed or used in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, a defendant faces a mandatory minimum five years in prison in addition to the sentence received for the underlying charges, and could receive up to life in prison. Some of the 105 defendants qualify as Armed Career Criminals, facing a mandatory 15 year sentence, or repeat drug traffickers, facing a mandatory 20 years sentence and, in some cases, a mandatory life sentence.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Joe Ansari, Mike Bennett, Ann Marie, Blaylock, Robert Bonar, Nute Bonner, Bryan Calhoun, Terry Cushing, Tom Dyke, Larry Fentress, Marisa Ford, Alicia Gomez, Amanda Gregory, Lettricea Jefferson-Webb, Joshua Judd, Corrine Keel, Jo Lawless, Jessica Malloy, Erin McKenzie, Spencer McKiness, Randy Ream, Mac Shannon, Amy Sullivan, Christopher Tieke, David Weiser, Stephanie Zimdahl and Special Assistant United States Attorneys Ebert Haegele and Elizabeth Jones Brown with stalwart assistance from Laura Stinson, Western District of Kentucky Grand Jury Coordinator. The cases are being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Louisville Metro Police Department, and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and with significant collaboration with the Jefferson Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement to specifically identify criminals responsible for significant violent crime in the Western District of Kentucky. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Today’s indictments are part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative in the Western District of Kentucky.
The indictment of a person by a Grand Jury is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.