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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Minnesota

For Immediate Release

March 7, 2012

B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney

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

Minneapolis Felon Indicted for Possessing .40-Caliber Pistol

MINNEAPOLIS – Recently in federal court, a 30-year-old felon from Minneapolis was indicted for allegedly possessing a .40-caliber pistol. On March 5, 2012, Aaron Lee Gant was specifically charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment alleges that on December 31, 2011, Gant possessed the gun.

Because Gant has been previously convicted of a felony, he is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms at any time. His prior Ramsey County felony convictions include a third-degree sale of controlled substances crime (2003), a fifth-degree sale of controlled substances crime (2004), and a fifth-degree controlled substances crime (2007), as well as aiding and abetting a first-degree controlled substances crime in Hennepin County (2006).

According to a law enforcement affidavit filed in the present federal case, St. Paul police executed a traffic stop in east St. Paul on December 31, 2011. The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Gant, exited the car immediately after being pulled over. He then allegedly ignored police orders to get back in the car and turn off the engine. Instead, he purportedly fled on foot, with the police pursuing him. Police reportedly noted the gun in his hand. He was later found hiding in an exterior basement stairwell about a block away. The gun he had been reportedly carrying was located behind a nearby shed.

If convicted, Gant faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in prison. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge. This case is the result of an investigation by the St. Paul Police Department and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carol M. Kayser and Surya Saxena.

Note, this case is 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.