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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Kentucky

Friday, May 22, 2020

Lexington Man Sentenced to 21 Months for Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon

LEXINGTON, Ky.- A Lexington man, Damien O. Porter, 21, was sentenced in federal court on Friday to 21 months in prison, by Chief U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves, for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.           

On May 12, 2019, officers with the Lexington Police Department responded to a theft call at a local business. While investigating, officers made contact with Damien Porter and located a loaded .9mm handgun Porter attempted to conceal.  During his guilty plea, Porter admitted he had previously been convicted of a felony and was prohibited from possessing a firearm.   

Under federal law, Porter must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence and will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years.

Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Shawn Morrow, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, Louisville Field Division; and Chief Lawrence Weathers, Lexington Police Department, jointly made the announcement. 

The investigation was directed by the ATF and Lexington Police Department.  The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia T. Rieker.

This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Eastern District of Kentucky, U.S. Attorney Robert Duncan Jr., coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.           

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. Click here for more information about Project Guardian.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at

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Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
CONTACT: Gabrielle Dudgeon PHONE: (859) 685-4887 E-MAIL:
Updated May 22, 2020