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USAO Press Release - Gang Member Sentenced to 110 Months in Federal Prison for Possessing a Firearm as a Felon

For Immediate Release

September 14, 2010

B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney

Contact: Jeanne F. Cooney
Director of Community Relations
(612) 664-5611

Gang Member Sentenced to 110 Months in Federal Prison for Possessing a Firearm as a Felon

A 30-year-old member of the Rolling 60s Crips was sentenced earlier today in federal court in Minneapolis for being a felon in possession of a firearm. United States District Court Judge John R. Tunheim sentenced Anton Lamont Burnes to 110 months in prison on one count of felon in possession. Burnes was indicted on August 12, 2008, and pleaded guilty on November 2, 2009.

According to a law enforcement affidavit filed in the current federal case, Burnes was arrested by St. Paul police in a local bar on July 28, 2008. Authorities were looking for him pursuant to a probable cause warrant. When he was apprehended, he had a loaded ninemillimeter pistol tucked in his sock. Following today’s sentencing, St. Paul Police Chief Tomas Smith said, This case is an example of how cooperation and close working relationships between local and federal agencies can remove a violent offender from our streets.

In his plea agreement, Burnes admitted that on July 28, 2008, he possessed a Smith & Wesson nine-millimeter pistol. Because he is a felon, Burnes is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm or ammunition at any time. Burnes’s prior felony convictions include second-degree assault in 1998, second-degree assault for the benefit of a gang in 2002, and fleeing police in a motor vehicle in 2005. According to court documents, in 1996, at the age of 16, Burnes also was convicted as an adult on drug conspiracy charges.

Court documents outline Burnes’s violent criminal history. During his 1998 crime of assault, he reportedly fired several shots from a handgun and threatened to kill his victim. The 2002 assault involved several people, including Burnes, many of whom fired shots at another group of individuals. In addition, Burnes is currently awaiting trial for second-degree murder in Ramsey County.

We must continue to invest in the community partnerships that yield results such as this, said Bernard J. Zapor, Special Agent in Charge of the St. Paul Field Office for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The ATF partnered with the St. Paul police in the investigation of this case. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian S. Wilton.

This case is also part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive, strategic approach to reducing gun crime in America. PSN, launched by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2001, encourages cooperative, multi-jurisdictional law enforcement and crime prevention efforts.