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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 30, 2021

Birmingham Man Sentenced to Prison for Illegal Possession of Firearms and Body Armor

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A federal judge this week  sentenced a Birmingham man to 108 months in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Mickey French.

U.S. District Judge Annemarie Carney Axon sentenced Eilone Austin Bland, 28, of Birmingham, to a total of 108 months in prison on  two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of being a violent felon in possession of body armor.  Bland pleaded guilty to these charges in January 2021.

In June 2020, a federal grand jury indicted Bland for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  That charge arose from a March 5, 2019 traffic stop by Birmingham police officers.  The officers found a Taurus 9-millimeter pistol in Bland’s pocket.  Bland had a 2016 state court conviction for attempted murder, which barred him from possessing firearms.

In July 2020, when the United States Deputy Marshals  arrested Bland at his home, they found a .40 caliber Glock pistol and a body armor vest in his bedroom.  A superseding indictment was filed charging him for possessing the second pistol and the body armor.

The ATF investigated the cases with the assistance of the Birmingham Police Department and the United States Marshals Service.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Baty prosecuted.

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Updated April 30, 2021