St. Paul Felon Indicted For Possessing Nine-millimeter Pistol, Distributing Crack Cocaine
MINNEAPOLIS—A federal indictment unsealed yesterday charges a 25-year-old felon from St. Paul with possessing several firearms as well as distributing crack cocaine. The indictment, which was filed on June 18, 2013, charges Paris Cedrell Neal with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one count of distribution of crack cocaine, and one count of using and carrying firearms during and in relation to a drug-trafficking crime. The indictment was unsealed following Neal’s initial appearance in federal court.
The indictment alleges that on December 4, 2012, Neal distributed crack cocaine while in possession of several firearms, including a 7.65-millimeter, semi-automatic pistol; a 10.35-millimeter revolver with no serial number; a .44-caliber, semi-automatic rifle; and a .22-caliber, semi-automatic rifle. In addition, the indictment alleges that on November 29, 2012, Neal possessed a nine-millimeter, semi-automatic pistol.
Because he is a felon, Neal is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm at any time. Neal was previously convicted in Hennepin County for second-degree assault (2005), two counts of theft of a motor vehicle (2008), and second-degree burglary (2011).
If convicted, Neal faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on the crack cocaine distribution count, ten years on each felon in possession count, and life on the using and carrying firearms count. Any sentence will be determined by a federal district court judge.
This case is the result of an investigation by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas M. Hollenhorst.
An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.