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Press Release

Baton Rouge Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing a Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Louisiana

United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today that U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson sentenced West Clark, age 40, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to 54 months in federal prison following his conviction for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  The Court further sentenced Clark to three years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment and ordered that the firearm involved be forfeited.

According to admissions Clark made as part of his guilty plea, on July 2, 2014, DEA Task Force Officers executed a state search warrant for an apartment where Clark resided in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  During a search of the apartment, officers found a Taurus Model PT111 Millennium Pro, 9mm semi-automatic pistol, which was loaded with 10 cartridges, as well as 59.1 grams of heroin belonging to Clark.

Prior to possessing the firearm, Clark was convicted in East Baton Rouge Parish in 2004 for possession of cocaine, and in 2006 for attempted possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  Clark also had two prior federal convictions in the Middle District of Louisiana for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in 2006, and illegal conversion of government property in 2007.

U.S. Attorney Fremin stated, “Sending repeat offenders to prison is another example of our commitment to fight violence and how the collaborative efforts of the federal, state, and local law enforcement can make our streets safer.  I want to thank our prosecutor, ATF, DEA, and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office for their efforts.”

“In our commitment to disrupt violent gun crime in our community, ATF in this joint effort, will continue to focus on convicted felons, like West Clark, who possess a firearm in conjunction with narcotics violations,” said ATF Baton Rouge Field Office Resident Agent in Charge Mary Downie.  “Reducing firearm related crimes and keeping our community safe is the top priority for ATF.”

DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael R. Sader said, “The collaborative effort of federal and local law enforcement in Baton Rouge, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office, has led to the sentencing of this career criminal and ultimately safer streets within our community.  DEA will continue to work tirelessly to protect our communities and hold accountable those who threaten our safety.”

This case is 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. The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from the following Project Guardian partners: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.  For more information about Project Guardian, please see: https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian

This matter is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Drug Enforcement Administration, with substantial assistance from the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul Pugliese.

Updated March 28, 2023

Topics
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses