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Press Release

Baton Rouge Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing Firearms

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

United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced that U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles sentenced Derrick J. Banks, age 45, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to 84 months in federal prison following his conviction for possession of firearms by a convicted felon.  The Court further sentenced Banks to three years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment and ordered that the firearms and ammunition involved be forfeited.

According to admissions Banks made as part of his guilty plea, on February 27, 2019, detectives with the Baton Rouge City Police Department executed a search warrant at Banks’ residence.  A loaded Beretta PX4 Storm, .40-caliber pistol and a loaded Romarm/Cugir Model M10-762, .762 caliber rifle were located in Banks’ bedroom. 

Prior to possessing the firearms, Banks was convicted in 2004 in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  Banks was also convicted in 2017 in East Baton Rouge Parish for bank fraud. 

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, and the Baton Rouge City Police for their efforts.”

“ATF, in this joint effort, will continue to focus on repeat offenders, like Derrick Banks, who is prohibited from possessing firearms,” said ATF New Orleans Field Division Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn. “The sentence imposed today will reduce firearm related crimes and keep our communities safe.”

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:

This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Baton Rouge Police Department.  It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert Piedrahita and Kristen Craig.

Updated July 7, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses