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January 25, 2010

BOSTON – A Quincy man was sentenced on January 15, 2010 for being a felon in possession of ammunition.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Glenn N. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Boston Field Division, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley and Police Commissioner Edward Davis of the Boston Police Department announced that, on January 15, 2009, United States District Judge Richard G. Stearns sentenced EARL DESSESAURE, 44, of Quincy, MA, to 15 years in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of ammunition.

At the change of plea hearing on August 25, 2009, the Government told the Court that on February 24, 2003, members of the Boston Police Department Drug Control Unit, assisted by members of the Quincy Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police, searched DESSESAURE’s Quincy apartment pursuant to a search warrant and found, among other things, a Smith & Wesson revolver loaded with six rounds of .357 magnum caliber ammunition and a box containing an additional 50 rounds of ammunition. Federal law makes it a crime for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has crossed state lines. At the plea hearing, the Government told the Court that DESSESAURE had such a prior conviction, and that each of the rounds of ammunition had been manufactured outside of Massachusetts and thus had necessarily crossed a state line before being found in DESSESAURE’s apartment.

The case originally was charged in 2003 and drawn to Judge Nancy Gertner. At a suppression hearing Judge Gertner made adverse findings as to the credibility of two Boston police officers and granted in part DESSESAURE’s motion to suppress evidence, including the gun and the ammunition. The Government appealed the suppression order and the First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, ruling that all of the evidence seized was admissible. In 2007 Judge Gertner ruled that the entire case should be dismissed with prejudice owing to a violation of DESSESAURE’s statutory right to a speedy trial. The Government appealed again and, in early 2009, the First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed this order, holding that the dismissal should have been without prejudice, a determination that permitted the Government to re-institute the charges against DESSESAURE. An Indictment was returned two days later, and the new case was drawn to Judge Stearns.

The case was investigated by the Boston Police Department, the Quincy Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case was prosecuted by Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.


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