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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Western District of Louisiana

For Immediate Release

December 8, 2011

Stephanie A. Finley, United States Attorney

Contact: Mona Hardwick, Public Information Officer
(337) 262-6618

Gerald Cortez Needham Convicted of Being a Felon in Possession of Ammunition

Shreveport, La.: United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Gerald Cortez Needham, also known as Copperhead, 40, of Bossier City, Louisiana, was convicted by a federal jury of one count of felon in possession of ammunition.

Evidence at trial established that on April 21, 2011, Needham knowingly possessed ammunition which was found at his home in Bossier City, Louisiana, during an execution of a search warrant obtained by the Bossier City Police Detectives during their investigation of a triple homicide which occurred in Bossier City on April 12. This ammunition included .22 caliber, 9 mm, .38 Special caliber, and 7.62 x 39 mm ammunition. Federal law prohibits convicted felons from possessing firearms or ammunition.

Needham remains in federal custody pending his sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set. The penalty for this offense is a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a term of not more than 3 years supervised release upon release from prison, a fine of not more than $250,000, and forfeiture of the ammunition.

U.S. Attorney Finley stated, The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to vigorously prosecute individuals who illegally possess firearms. We have joined with our state and local partners under our Project Safe Neighborhood Program to assure that convicted felons like Mr. Needham do not possess firearms or ammunition. Our goal is to make our streets and neighborhoods safer so that the citizens of this community feel more secure.

This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide program begun in 2001 and was designed to reduce violence in our communities by aggressively enforcing existing federal firearms laws. The case was investigated by the Shreveport office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Bossier City Police Department, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert W. Gillespie, Jr.