For Immediate Release
Two Las Vegas Felons Sentenced to Prison for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
LAS VEGAS – Two convicted felons and Las Vegas residents were sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey for unlawful possession of firearms and for their roles in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy. Nicholas Eddards was sentenced to 96 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release. Justin Chester was sentenced to 78 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release.
Justin Chester (42) and Nicholas Eddards (36) each pleaded guilty in January 2023 to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and felon in possession of a firearm.
According to court documents, on January 3, 2019, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers stopped a car carrying Eddards and Chester. During a search of the car, the officers discovered a 9mm semiautomatic pistol and methamphetamine.
Eddards has prior felony convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, ex-felon not to possess a firearm, and unlawful possession of a firearm in the District of Nevada. Chester has prior felony convictions for attempted battery with a deadly weapon and domestic battery.
United States Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of Nevada and Acting Special Agent in Charge Joshua Jackson for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) made the announcement.
The ATF investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Edward Veronda prosecuted the case.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a nationwide program by the Department of Justice that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, the Department announced the reinvigoration of PSN. For more information about PSN, visit www.justice.gov/usao-nv.
If you have information pertaining to illegal firearms activity such as a straw purchase, please contact the ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS (1-800-283-4867). Anonymous tips may also be submitted to ATF through the ReportIt mobile app.