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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota
For Immediate Release
Andrew M. Luger, United States Attorney
Monday, January 30, 2023

Coon Rapids Felon Charged With Illegal Possession of a Firearm

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Coon Rapids man has been charged in a criminal complaint for illegal possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, on December 29, 2022, officers with the Coon Rapids Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Lewis Edward Byrd III, 45. Byrd, a felon with a prior sexual assault conviction, was arrested for violations related to his status as a predatory offender. After the arrest, officers searched Byrd’s vehicle and found a Smith and Wesson 9mm handgun in a pillowcase behind the driver’s seat. Further investigation revealed that Byrd purchased the firearm from a private seller earlier in December 2022. Law enforcement contacted the seller who confirmed the sale of the firearm and said that Byrd stated he was not a felon.

Because Byrd has prior felony convictions, including first degree criminal sexual conduct, stalking, and false imprisonment, he is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time.

The complaint charges Byrd with one count of possession of a firearm as a felon. On January 26, 2023, Magistrate Judge John F. Docherty ordered Byrd to remain in detention pending further court proceedings.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Coon Rapids Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsey Middlecamp is prosecuting the case.

A complaint is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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