Jury Finds Minneapolis Felon And Known Drug User Guilty Of Possessing A .40-caliber Pistol
MINNEAPOLIS— Yesterday in federal court, a jury found a 36-year-old felon guilty of possessing a .40-caliber, semi-automatic pistol. Following a three-day trial, a jury convicted Demario Kentrell Booker, of Minneapolis, of one count of illegally possessing a firearm after being previously convicted of a felony and while being an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance.
The evidence presented at trial proved that on November 20, 2012, Booker, an admitted drug addict, possessed the pistol. A law enforcement affidavit filed in the case indicated that at approximately 2:06 a.m. on that day, officers noted that a vehicle, later found to be driven by Booker, had failed to signal a turn and had crossed the center line. Booker, however, refused to pull over and, instead, led the police on a high-speed chase. The police recovered the gun from inside the vehicle.
Because he is a felon, Booker, also known as Gary White, is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm or ammunition at any time. His prior convictions in Hennepin County include assault in the third degree (2004), assault in the fourth degree (2008), and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm (2009).
For his crimes, Booker faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison. United States District Court Judge John R. Tunheim will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.
This case was the result of an investigation by the Minneapolis Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Newberry.
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.