Convicted Felon from Alexander City Sentenced to 130 Months in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing Firearms
Montgomery, Alabama – On Thursday, August 23, 2018, Byron Jamar Esco, 30, of Prattville, Alabama received a sentence of 57 months in prison for a illegally possessing a firearm and shooting a cow, announced United States Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr. The prosecution was the result of Esco senselessly using a firearm to shoot and kill a pregnant cow.
On November 29, 2017, Esco, who had been recently released from state prison, was driving his vehicle along country roads near Hope Hull, Alabama. As he drove, Esco, unprovoked, pointed his 9 millimeter handgun at a cow grazing in a field. Esco then fired the weapon and killed the cow, which was pregnant with a calf. Esco drove away. Before he could do so, though, the cow’s owner observed Esco’s vehicle and reported the shooting and the details of the getaway vehicle to law enforcement authorities. Early the following morning, a sheriff’s deputy found Esco driving the car. Inside the vehicle was the handgun used in the shooting.
Because Esco was previously convicted of felony offenses, he could not lawfully possess the firearm. Therefore, a grand jury charged Esco with being a felon in possession of a firearm and Esco later pleaded guilty to the crime.
At the sentencing hearing, Esco received an enhancement for possessing the firearm in furtherance of another felony offense—that felony offense being killing cattle livestock, in violation of Alabama law.
“We often assume that gun violence is a problem that exists only on city streets,” said United States Attorney Franklin. “Sadly, even a rural area can be the scene of needless violence, as this case demonstrates. This office, along with our law enforcement partners, is committed to make every part of this district—from city streets to country roads—safe.”
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution of this case was a part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhood. Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan S. Ross prosecuted the case.