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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Louisiana
Brandon B. Brown, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Thursday, April 6, 2023

Illegal Possession of a Firearm Sends Ruston Man to Prison

MONROE, La. - United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced that Howard Demartae Jackson, 27, of Ruston, Louisiana, has been sentenced by United States District Judge Terry A. Doughty to 170 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

According to evidence presented to the court, on or about May 25, 2022 while on patrol, an officer with the Ruston Police Department observed a man with a brown shoulder bag standing near the driver’s side of a vehicle near a gas station. The officer was suspicious of the activity and ran the license plate on the vehicle and learned that the driver’s license of the vehicle’s registered owner was suspended. The officer conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle and the driver was confirmed to be the registered owner and she admitted that her license was suspended. Howard Jackson was identified as the passenger in the vehicle with the female. The officer detected the odor of marijuana coming from inside and a search of the vehicle was conducted. Officers and found Jackson with a shoulder bag containing a loaded Smith and Wesson 40 caliber pistol, methamphetamine, marijuana, oxycodone, alprazolam, MDMA, plastic baggies, and a digital scale.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) examined and tested the firearm and found it to have been manufactured in Massachusetts and therefore traveled in interstate commerce. Jackson is a convicted felon with prior felony convictions for possession with intent to distribute both Schedule II and III controlled substances in 2020 and knew that he was prohibited from possessing any firearm or ammunition. Jackson pleaded guilty to the charges on November 28, 2022.

The case was investigated by the DEA, ATF and Ruston Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica D. Cassidy.

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