Maplewood Felon Sentenced For Possessing .32-caliber Revolver
MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court in St. Paul, a 35-year-old felon from Maplewood was sentenced for possessing a loaded .32-caliber revolver. United States District Court Judge Donovan W. Frank sentenced Derek Lee Preston to 180 months imprisonment on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Preston was indicted on April 12, 2011, and pleaded guilty on February 4, 2013.
In his plea agreement, Preston admitted that on January 25, 2011, he possessed the weapon while a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by Minneapolis Police. Officers found the weapon inside the jacket Preston was wearing when Preston was searched in connection with the traffic stop. In addition, officers found recovered 7.5 grams of marijuana and nearly four grams of crack cocaine.
Because he is a felon, Preston is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time. Preston’s prior Hennepin County convictions include unlawful possession of a pistol (1997), attempted first-degree aggravated robbery (1997), fifth-degree controlled substance crimes (1999 and 2009), a second-degree controlled substance crime (2001), terroristic threats (2005), violation of a no-contact order (2009), attempted violation of a no-contact order (2009), and domestic assault (2010).
This case was the result of an investigation by the Minneapolis Police Department, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”). It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Surya Saxena and Andrew Dunne.
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 two dozen serious habitual criminals through Project Exile Minneapolis.