Four St. Cloud Felons Indicted For Possession Of Firearms
MINNEAPOLIS — A federal grand jury has recently returned indictments charging four St. Cloud men with illegally possessing guns. On May 21, 2014, Darron Israel Shelton, Quontrell Martell Banner, and Kenneth Melvin Vinson were each charged with one count of being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. That same day, through a separate indictment, Gregory Wimberly, Jr. was charged with two counts of being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm.
The first indictment alleges that on February 2, 2014, authorities found Shelton, Banner, and Vinson to be in possession of two guns, one C.G. Haenel .25 caliber pistol and a Bersa Thunder 9, 9 millimeter, semi-automatic pistol.
Shelton’s prior felony convictions include a drug offense, robbery, and assault. Banner has two prior robbery convictions and a drug conviction. Vinson’s prior felonies include assault, terroristic threats, and a drug conviction.
The second indictment alleges that on May 10, 2013, Wimberly was found to be in possession of a Kel-Tec 9 millimeter, semi-automatic pistol, and on March 7, 2014, he was allegedly found to be in possession of a Smith & Wesson 9 millimeter, semi-automatic pistol. Wimberly has a prior felony drug conviction.
Because the four defendants are convicted felons, they are prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time. Because of their extensive criminal history, Shelton and Banner each face a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence if convicted of the charges. Vinson and Wimberly each face a potential maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on each possession count. A federal district court judge will ultimately decide upon the appropriate sentences.
United States Attorney Andrew Luger stated that, “Our Office is working closely with law enforcement in the St. Cloud area to prosecute violent felons who are illegally possessing weapons. These cases are a significant step forward in that effort.”
These cases are the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the St. Cloud Police Department, the Waite Park Police Department, and the Central Minnesota Violent Offenders Task Force. They are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Amber M. Brennan and Richard A. Newberry.
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.