ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Minnesota

www.justice.gov/usao/mn

For Immediate Release

March 15, 2013

B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney

Contact: Jeanne F. Cooney, Director of Community Relations
(612) 664-5611
jeanne.cooney@usdoj.gov

Cass Lake felon indicted for possessing a .357 revolver

MINNEAPOLIS – A federal indictment unsealed earlier today charges a 25-year-old Cass Lake felon with possessing a .357-caliber revolver. The indictment, which was filed on March 12, 2013, charges Anthony Duane Howard with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment was unsealed following Howard's initial appearance in federal court.

The indictment alleges that on December 1, 2012, Howard possessed the revolver. Because he is a felon, Howard is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm at any time. His prior Hennepin County convictions include first-degree assault (2003) and fourth-degree assault (2011).

If convicted, Howard 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 Minneapolis Police Department, and the Violent Impact Team for the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney LeeAnn K. Bell.

The case was charged federally through Project Exile Minneapolis. That law enforcement initiative was launched on July 22, 2010, as part of a city-wide effort to reduce gun violence.

Through Project Exile, the Minneapolis Police Department and the ATF work together to apprehend serial criminals for violations of gun laws. Then, the Hennepin County Attorney‘s Office teams up with the U.S. Attorney‘s Office to determine where those offenders will most effectively be prosecuted – state or federal court. Those determinations are based on the offenders‘ criminal histories and current charges, among other factors. To date, the U.S. Attorney's Office has brought charges against more than a dozen serious habitual criminals through Project Exile Minneapolis.

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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.