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Press Release

Maplewood Felon Indicted for Illegal Possession of a Firearm

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

Minneapolis, Minn. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment against a Maplewood man for illegally possessing a firearm, announced Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk.

According to court documents, on October 12, 2021, Metro Transit Police Officers were dispatched to a report of a vehicle stuck on the light rail tracks in St. Paul. At the scene they found Deandre Lenier Neal-Hill, 34, unresponsive in the driver’s seat of a maroon Chevrolet Malibu. The vehicle, with the engine still reviving, had a flat tire and was stuck in the tracks.  Officers extracted an unresponsive Neal-Hill from the vehicle and began preforming life-saving measures until the paramedics arrived and took him to a hospital.

According to court documents, as officers extracted Neal-Hill from the vehicle, officers observed a black handgun on the floorboard on the driver’s side of the vehicle, which was later determined to be an FNH USA model 503 9mm semiautomatic pistol. The pistol had a round chambered, and carried a loaded magazine.

Because Neal-Hill has prior felony convictions, including convictions of drive-by shooting, assault, and drug sale, he is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time.

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the ATF, the St. Paul Police Department, and the Metro Transit Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew S. Ebert and Thomas Calhoun-Lopez are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Updated November 4, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime