|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||CONTACT: DAVILYN WALSTON|
|THURSDAY, MAY 6, 2010||PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER|
|http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txe||CELL: (409) 553-9881 DIRECT: (409) 981-7902|
PORT ARTHUR MAN GUILTY IN OPERATION TIME MACHINE SWEEP
BEAUMONT, Texas – A 28-year-old Port Arthur, Texas man has pleaded guilty to firearms violations as a result of Operation Time Machine in the Eastern District of Texas announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Damon Leon Ballou pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Earl Hines.
According to information presented in court, on Feb. 10, 2010, the Port Arthur Police Department's Narcotics Division executed a search warrant at Ballou's residence at 116 18th Street in Port Arthur. During the search, officers discovered three loaded firearms as well as drug trafficking paraphernalia and approximately $3,000 in cash. Further investigation revealed Ballou was a convicted felon and prohibited by federal law from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition. Ballou has a federal conviction for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine in the Eastern District of Texas and a state conviction for delivery of a controlled substance in Jefferson County, Texas, both in 2001. A federal grand jury indicted Ballou on Feb. 24, 2010 and charged him with federal firearms violations.
This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods' Operation Time Machine program. Operation Time Machine is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition and body armor, and improving the safety of residents in Port Arthur, Texas. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
Ballou faces up to 10 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set.
This case is being investigated by the Port Arthur Police Department and the ATF and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John B. Ross.
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