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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Eastern District of Louisiana

For Immediate Release

April 25, 2012

Jim Letten, United States Attorney

Contact: Anna Christman
(504) 680-3171

New Orleans Man Sentenced for Weapons Violation

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA — RICARDO YOUNG, age 28, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, was sentenced yesterday in federal court by U. S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle to 30 months in prison for illegally possessing a firearm in New Orleans, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten. In addition to the term of imprisonment, Judge Lemelle ordered that YOUNG be placed on three (3) years of supervised release following the term of imprisonment, during which time the defendant will be under federal supervision and risks an additional term of imprisonment should he violate any terms of his supervised release.

YOUNG pled guilty on January 11, 2012. According to court documents, New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) officers conducted a traffic stop in the area of St. Bernard Ave. and North Claiborne Ave. in New Orleans. YOUNG, the driver, and a front seat passenger were the only occupants of the vehicle. As the NOPD officer approached the vehicle, YOUNG rolled down his window allowing the officer to smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Shortly thereafter, the officers discovered marijuana seeds and stems on the front seat floor board of the vehicle and removed both occupants in order to conduct a more thorough search of the vehicle. During that search, officers found a fully loaded .40 caliber Glock handgun inside the vehicle’s airbag compartment. Both YOUNG and the passenger were placed under arrested. YOUNG expressed to the NOPD officers that he was unaware that there was a gun inside his vehicle. However, after officers stepped away from the vehicle and while inside the NOPD unit, YOUNG was captured on the police unit’s audio/video recorder system admitting awareness of the gun and trying to convince the passenger to take ownership of the gun for him. The passenger later admitted to officers that YOUNG tried to talk him into taking the gun charge. Officers later learned that YOUNG had previously been convicted of a felony weapons possession charge in September 2003 in the United Stated District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Under Federal law, this felony conviction precludes YOUNG from legally possessing or knowingly being in the presence of any firearms.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the New Orleans Police Department and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rick Veters of the Violent Crime Unit.