Minneapolis Felon Indicted For Possessing .40-caliber Pistol
MINNEAPOLIS—Recently in federal court, a 30-year-old felon from Minneapolis was
indicted for allegedly possessing a .40-caliber pistol. On March 5, 2012, Aaron Lee Gant was
specifically charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment
alleges that on December 31, 2011, Gant possessed the gun.
Because Gant has been previously convicted of a felony, he is prohibited under federal law
from possessing firearms at any time. His prior Ramsey County felony convictions include a
third-degree sale of controlled substances crime (2003), a fifth-degree sale of controlled
substances crime (2004), and a fifth-degree controlled substances crime (2007), as well as
aiding and abetting a first-degree controlled substances crime in Hennepin County (2006).
According to a law enforcement affidavit filed in the present federal case, St. Paul police
executed a traffic stop in east St. Paul on December 31, 2011. The driver of the vehicle, later
identified as Gant, exited the car immediately after being pulled over. He then allegedly ignored
police orders to get back in the car and turn off the engine. Instead, he purportedly fled on foot,
with the police pursuing him. Police reportedly noted the gun in his hand. He was later found
hiding in an exterior basement stairwell about a block away. The gun he had been reportedly
carrying was located behind a nearby shed.
If convicted, Gant 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 St. Paul Police Department and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carol M. Kayser and Surya
Note, this case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (“PSN”), an initiative launched by the
U.S. Justice Department in 2001 to promote a multi-jurisdictional, comprehensive approach to
reducing gun crime in America. PSN provides resources to strengthen law enforcement and
crime prevention partnerships that work to make our communities safer.
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.