U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard Announces $168,085 Justice Department Grant to Support Project Safe Neighborhoods
TOPEKA, KAN. – Two Kansas men with prior felony convictions were charged in separate cases today with unlawfully possessing firearms, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.
Gwyndell B. Declerck, Jr., 32, Topeka, Kan., is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. The indictment alleges that on Aug.17, 2019, Declerck unlawfully possessed a .40 caliber handgun. He was prohibited from having a gun because of prior convictions, including a 2010 conviction in Shawnee County District Court for criminal possession of a firearm.
Declerck was arrested Aug. 17, 2019, after Topeka police reported responding to callers complaining their house was hit by bullets.
If convicted Declerck faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The Topeka Police Department and the FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag is prosecuting.
Jeffrey Lamont Armstrong, 38, Salina, Kan., is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. The crimes are alleged to have occurred Feb. 22, 2019, in Saline County, Kan.
If convicted, Armstrong could face up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the first firearm charge, up to 20 years and a fine up to $1 million on the drug charge and not less than five years and a fine up to $250,000 on the second firearm charge. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsey Debenham is prosecuting.
Both cases are being prosecuted under the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, a Justice Department program aimed at reducing gun violence. Last year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas prosecuted 161 defendants who were found guilty of federal firearms violations.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.