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Felon Gets 10 Years in Federal Prison for Possessing Firearm

May 20, 2004

Las Vegas, Nev. -  A man convicted by a federal jury in February of being a felon in possession of a firearm, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Howard D. McKibben to 120 months in prison, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

CHARLES VON LEWIS, age 24, of Las Vegas, was arrested on July 5, 2003, by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officers who were dispatched to the Golden Inn Motel at 120 North Las Vegas Boulevard on a report of a suspicious person loitering in a stairwell. When officers arrived, they found VON LEWIS sleeping on a stairwell landing. A "No Trespassing" sign was posted directly above his head. As the officers awakened VON LEWIS, he reached toward his pant waistband, where officers noticed a firearm had been placed.

After a brief struggle, the officers removed the Bryco Arms .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun from VON LEWIS and placed him in custody. The defendant told the officers that he was waiting to meet a buyer for the gun at the motel and must have fallen asleep. In addition, he said he was merely a delivery person and that he was going to sell the gun for $75.

On July 30, 2003, LEWIS was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in Las Vegas on one count of felon in possession of a firearm. Following a two-day jury trial, he was found guilty of that charge.

The defendant has prior felony convictions in Clark County for Attempted Burglary, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell.

The location of LEWIS' arrest falls within the boundaries of the Downtown Las Vegas Weed and Seed Site. Weed and Seed, a strategy funded by a U.S. Department of Justice grant, is a multi-agency approach to law enforcement, crime prevention, and community revitalization. The strategy involves a two-pronged approach, "weeding out" criminals who participate in violent crime and drug abuse, and "seeding," which brings human services to the area, encompassing prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood revitalization.

The case was investigated by officers with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Special Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William Reed.

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