U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Minnesota
District of Minnesota
For Immediate Release
May 9, 2012
Career Criminal Indicted for Possessing .38-Caliber Revolver
MINNEAPOLIS – Earlier today in federal court in St. Paul, a 24-year-old career criminal was indicted for allegedly possessing a .38-caliber revolver. Lewis Pate, no known address, was specifically charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a career criminal.
The indictment alleges that on March 20, 2012, Pate possessed the gun. Because he is a felon, Pate is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm at any time. His prior Ramsey County convictions include auto theft and fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle (2007) and auto theft and fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle (2008). Pate was also convicted in Hennepin County for third-degree burglary in 2008 and Dakota County for aggravated robbery in 2010.
Since those offenses constitute crimes of violence, sentencing in the current federal case, if Pate is found guilty, will be subject to the federal Armed Career Criminal Act. That act mandates a minimum of 15 years in prison for anyone convicted in federal court of being a felon in possession of a firearm if that person also has at least three prior state or federal convictions for crimes of violence or serious drug crimes.
According to a law enforcement affidavit filed in this case, St. Paul police were called to the 980 block of Reaney Avenue at approximately 2:30 p.m. on March 20, 2012, following a report of shots fired. Witnesses claimed three men had exchanged gunfire in an alley. A police canine tracked the scent of one of the reported suspects to a house in the 970 block of Margaret Avenue. Police found Pate inside. During the execution of a search warrant of the house, police also found a six-shot revolver with four live rounds. It was wrapped in a towel in the bathroom clothes hamper.
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. Attorney Jeffrey S. Paulsen.
An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.