Minneapolis Man Pleads Guilty To Being An Armed Career Criminal In Possession Of A Firearm
MINNEAPOLIS—Yesterday in federal court in St. Paul, a 47-year-old Minneapolis felon pleaded guilty to possessing a .357-caliber revolver. On June 20, 2013, Oscar Lee pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Lee, who was indicted on November 20, 2012, entered his plea before United States District Court Judge Paul A. Magnuson.
In his plea agreement, Lee admitted that on May 14, 2012, he possessed the revolver, which had been reportedly stolen. Minneapolis Police attempted to stop Lee’s vehicle in south Minneapolis after observing a missing headlight. Rather than stopping, Lee ran through a stop sign and led police on a car chase for approximately ten blocks. He threw the handgun from the vehicle as he turned down an alley. Police later found the firearm.
Because he is a felon, Lee is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm at any time. His prior Hennepin County convictions include burglary in the third degree (1987 and 1992) and assault in the second degree (1988). In 1997, Lee was convicted in Polk County, Iowa, for third-degree burglary, forgery, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Since those offenses constituted crimes of violence, Lee is subject to the federal Armed Career Criminal Act. That act mandates a minimum of 15 years in prison for anyone convicted in federal court of being a felon in possession of a firearm if that person also has at least three prior state or federal convictions for crimes of violence or serious drug crimes. Judge Magnuson will determine Lee’s sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.
This case resulted from an investigation conducted by the Minneapolis Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Julie E. Allyn and Amber M. Brennan.
The case was charged federally through Project Exile Minneapolis. That law enforcement initiative was launched on July 22, 2010, as part of a city-wide effort to reduce gun violence. Through Project Exile, the Minneapolis Police Department and the ATF work together to apprehend serial criminals for violations of gun laws. Then, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office teams up with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to determine where those offenders will most effectively be prosecuted – state or federal court. Those determinations are based on the offenders’ criminal histories and current charges, among other factors. To date, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has brought charges against more than a dozen serious habitual criminals through Project Exile Minneapolis.