News and Press Releases


October 19, 2011


Fort Smith- Matthew S. Stephens, of Fort Smith, was sentenced today to fifteen years imprisonment for federal firearms violations, announced Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas. United States District Judge Paul .K. Holmes ordered Stephens to pay $5,000 in fines and ordered him to serve five years supervised release upon release from prison.

Stephens entered a plea of guilty on May 24, 2011 to being a felon in possession of a firearm that has traveled in interstate commerce, in violation 18 U.S.C § 922(g)(1). On June 21, 2010, the Fort Smith Police Department executed a search on the defendant’s home and found a loaded .45 caliber pistol.

Stephens was sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act, which provides a sentencing range of fifteen years to life for individuals who have been convicted of federal gun crimes and have at least three prior felony convictions for crimes of violence and/or serious drug offenses. This is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative, which is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of firearms and improving the safety of residents in the Western District of Arkansas. Participants in the initiative include federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

This case was investigated by the Fort Smith Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Harris of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas.

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