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

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE            CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
THURSDAY, AUGUST 26, 2010             PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
HTTP://WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe             CELL: (409) 553-9881 DIRECT: (409) 981-7902

                                                                                                    

PORT ARTHUR MAN SENT TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR FIREARMS VIOLATION
Pawn Shop burglary during Ike Evacuation nets over 2 year sentence

            BEAUMONT, Texas - A 22-year-old Port Arthur, Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison as a result of Operation Time Machine in the Eastern District of Texas announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

            Ronzell Lajohn Gonzales pleaded guilty on Feb. 24, 2010 to theft of a firearm from a federally licensed firearms dealer and was sentenced to 26 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Ron Clark.

            According to information presented in court, on Sep. 18, 2008, Gonzales was caught burglarizing a Port Arthur residence during the Hurricane Ike mandatory evacuation.  Upon his arrest, Gonzales was found to be in possession of several firearms which had been stolen during a burglary on Sep. 14, 2008 at Mike Smith Pawn Shop on Gulfway Drive in Port Arthur.  Gonzales was indicted by a federal grand jury on Dec. 2, 2009 and charged 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.


            This case was investigated by the ATF and the Port Arthur Police Department and prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Baylor Wortham.

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