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December 14, 2012

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee

Kingsport Man Convicted At Trial Of Felon In Possession Of A Firearm

GREENEVILLE, Tenn.- On Dec. 13, 2012, following a jury trial in U.S. District Court, Leslie H. Ashmore, 46, of Kingsport, Tenn., was convicted of possession of a firearm after having been previously convicted of a felony. Sentencing has been set for Apr. 30, 2013.

Because of his criminal history, Ashmore will likely be determined to be an Armed Career Criminal and face a minimum and mandatory 15 years up to a maximum of life in federal prison for the firearms offense.

Ashmore was arrested on Oct. 20, 2011, with the assistance of the Kingsport Police Department SWAT team, Sullivan County Sheriff's Department and Second Judicial District Drug Task Force. A firearm was found in the vehicle in which Ashmore was traveling at the time of his arrest.

The investigation was conducted by the Kingsport Police Department, Second Judicial District Drug Task Force, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Gregory Bowman and Suzanne Kerney-Quillen represented the United States at trial.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive national strategy that creates local partnerships with law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce existing gun laws. It provides more options to prosecutors, allowing them to utilize local, state, and federal laws to ensure that criminals who commit gun crime face tough sentences. PSN gives each federal district the flexibility it needs to focus on individual challenges that a specific community faces.

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