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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Tennessee
Kevin G. Ritz, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Convicted Felon Sentenced to 10 Years for Illegal Gun Possession

Memphis, TN – Travis Lester, 42, has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison as a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. A federal jury convicted Lester of this offense after a four-day trial earlier this year. United States Attorney Kevin Ritz announced the sentence today.

According to information presented in court, on May 19, 2021, the United States Marshals Service and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office apprehended a wanted fugitive, Travis Lester, at a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. Lester was found in possession of a loaded Smith & Wesson .40 caliber pistol with 16 live rounds of ammunition in an extended magazine. The gun had been reported stolen on December 26, 2020, in a theft from a motor vehicle.

As a result of his prior felony convictions, Lester is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms.

On December 9, 2022, United States District Judge Samuel H. Mays sentenced Lester to 120 months in federal prison to be followed by three years’ supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system. At the time of his arrest, Lester was on federal supervised release and was sentenced to an additional 17-months incarceration to be served consecutive to his sentence of 120 months incarceration.

This case was investigated by Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the United States Marshals Service, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, the Memphis Police Department, and the ATF. PSN is a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

United States Attorney Kevin Ritz thanked Assistant United States Attorney Raney Irwin, who prosecuted this case.


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