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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Minnesota

For Immediate Release

June 19, 2012

B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney

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

St. Paul Career Criminal Indicted for Possessing Pistol

(Faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 15 years if convicted)

MINNEAPOLIS — Earlier today in federal court, a 36–year–old St. Paul felon was indicated for allegedly possessing a .40–caliber pistol. Wendell Terrell Brown was specifically charged with one count of being an armed career criminal in possession of a firearm.

A law enforcement affidavit filed in the case states that on May 5, 2012, police conducted a traffic stop in downtown St. Paul of a car in which Brown was the front seat passenger. During a consensual search of the vehicle, officers recovered the pistol from the passenger side glove compartment.

Because he is a felon, Brown is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm at any time. Brown’s prior convictions include possession of a short–barreled shotgun (Ramsey County, 1998) and felon in possession of a firearm (Ramsey County, 2002). In addition, Brown was convicted in Hennepin County for terroristic threats (1998), Washington County for fourth–degree sale of a controlled substance (2010), and St. Croix County, Wisconsin, for possession with intent to distribute marijuana (2010).

Since some of those offenses constitute crimes of violence or serious drug offenses, sentencing in the current federal case, if Brown is found guilty, will be subject to the federal Armed Career Criminal Act. That act mandates a minimum of 15 years in federal prison for anyone convicted 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. And because the federal criminal system does not have parole, convicted offenders will serve virtually their entire prison sentences behind bars. All sentences, however, will ultimately 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. Attorney Jeffrey S. Paulsen.

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.