News and Press Releases

Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Unlawful Possession of Firearm

February 4, 2009

Las Vegas, Nev. – A man who led Henderson Police Department Officers on a foot chase outside a casino and pulled a handgun on them when he was caught, will be spending the next seven years in federal prison, announced Greg Brower, U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Edward J. Perez, 32, of Las Vegas, was sentenced on February 2, 2009, to seven years in prison and three years of supervised release. He was convicted by a jury in October 2008 of one count of felon in possession of a firearm.

In October 2007, at approximately 5:30 a.m., two Henderson police officers contacted Perez in the Emerald Island Casino in Henderson, Nevada, after they received a report that Perez and another individual were possibly involved in a narcotics transaction. When one of the officers started questioning Perez, he fled. As the officers chased after Perez on foot, Perez pulled a silver colored handgun from his pant waistband and turned toward the officers. Perez then tripped and dropped the handgun, and a struggle with the officers ensued. Perez was apprehended and an officer recovered a fully loaded .45 caliber automatic pistol from the sidewalk near Perez, and recovered a second fully loaded magazine from Perez' pants pocket. Officers later determined that the firearm was stolen from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and that Perez had prior felony convictions in Nevada and California for accessory to murder, conspiracy to commit battery, conspiracy to possess a stolen vehicle, and robbery with a firearm.

This case was investigated by the Henderson Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas D. Dickinson. It was developed as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, a U.S. Department of Justice program aimed at reducing gun crime in America. Since it was begun in 2001, Project Safe Neighborhoods, or PSN, has provided approximately $2 billion to hire new prosecutors, support investigators, provide training, deter juvenile gun crime, and develop community outreach efforts and other gun violence reduction measures Part of this effort includes the Southern Nevada PSN Task Force, a team of law enforcement officers and prosecutors who meet on a weekly basis to discuss arrests involving guns and explosives. From 2002 to 2008, Southern Nevada PSN Task Force members screened over 2,700 cases for prosecution, and 870 individuals were charged with federal firearms offenses. A like number were prosecuted by the Clark County District Attorney's Office and sentenced in the state court system.

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