January 8, 2013
Department of Justice
United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee
New York Resident Sentenced To 22 Years In Prison For Transporting Ammo To New York Drug Trafficking Organization
GREENEVILLE, Tenn.- On Jan. 8, 2013, Paul Douglas Prater, 51, of Niagra Falls, N.Y. was sentenced to serve 264 months in prison by the Honorable Leon Jordan, U.S. District Judge, as a result of his conviction on Jun. 13, 2012, of being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition.
An investigation conducted by the Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) showed that Prater was transporting ammunition from Tennessee to a violent drug trafficking organization on the New York-Canadian border. Testimony at trial showed this drug trafficking organization was transporting large quantities of marijuana and cocaine across the Canadian border for distribution in the Niagara Falls area of New York. On Mar. 17, 2011, Prater was stopped by the Tennessee Highway Patrol Interdiction Unit (THP) in Sullivan County, based on information provided by HSI. He was found to be in possession of 500 rounds of pistol ammunition, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) was contacted and joined the investigation.
Agencies involved in the investigation included HSI, THP, and ATF. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Reeves, Eastern District of Tennessee and Melissa Marangola, Western District of New York.
U.S. Attorney Bill Killian praised the quick response and excellent work done by the various agencies. "This sentence sends a message to those possessing and using firearms and ammunition illegally,” said U.S. Attorney Killian.
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.