DOJ Seal Department of Justice  
United States Attorney John M. Bales
Eastern District of Texas


THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2010            PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER             CELL: (409) 553-9881 DIRECT: (409) 981-7902



            BEAUMONT, Texas – U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that a 30-year-old Jasper, Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm in the Eastern District of Texas.

            DAVID ASHTON WELLS pleaded guilty on Oct. 29, 2009, to being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Ron Clark.

            According to information presented in court, on Sep. 18, 2008, law enforcement officers in Kirbyville, Texas responded to a call regarding two individuals taking copper wire from downed power lines in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.  Officers observed Wells near a vehicle parked in a roadway with a large amount of stolen copper wire in the back.  The vehicle had also been reported stolen to the Groves Police Department.  Wells was arrested and a search of the vehicle revealed a sawed-off shotgun and wire cutting tools.  Wells admitted to taking the copper from various locations in the area.  Further investigation revealed Wells was a convicted felon, having been previously convicted of burglary of a habitation in Jefferson County in 2003; prohibited substance in a correctional facility in Jefferson County in 2003; and possession of a controlled substance in Dallas County in 2008.  As a convicted felon, Wells is prohibited by federal law from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition.  Wells was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 6, 2009 and charged with federal gun crimes.

            This conviction is yet another important outcome from Project Safe Neighborhoods, a national priority of the United States Department of Justice. PSN is designed as a partnership between federal and local law enforcement to reduce violent crime and gun-related crime through the vigorous enforcement of the criminal provisions of the federal firearms laws.

            This case was investigated by the Kirbyville Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall L. Fluke.


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