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Press Release

Convicted Felon Sentenced for Illegal Firearm Possession

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

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced a convicted felon to more than eight years in prison for illegally possessing a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson.

U.S. District Court Judge R. David Proctor sentenced Donald Joseph Boteler, Jr, 48, of Pell City, to 106 1/2 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.  Boteler pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm in September 2022.

“The illegal possession of firearms by repeat felony offenders is a persistent threat to the peace and safety of our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Escalona. “We are grateful for the work of the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office and the ATF in apprehending this defendant and securing the evidence for this case.”

“This was extremely great work done by the law enforcement officers who took part in this investigation.  Protecting the public from violent criminals who illegally possess firearms is at the core of the mission of the men and women of the ATF. We will continue to work collaboratively with our state, local and federal law enforcement partners to combat violent crimes in an effort to maintain public safety and hold violent members of our society accountable,” said ATF SAC Marcus Watson.

According to court documents, in December 2021, St. Clair County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to pull over a truck driven by Boteler for traveling in the middle of two lanes of traffic. Boteler fled at a high rate of speed from the deputies. The deputies located the truck at the bottom of a hill where Boteler exited the truck and fled on foot.  The St. Clair County canine unit was dispatched to the scene and, after a lengthy search, located Boteler in a wooded area.   Boteler resisted arrest and deputies were forced to use their tasers to get Boteler to comply. Boteler continued to struggle with deputies and pulled a Diamondback 9mm pistol from his waistband. As deputies struggled to control the pistol, Boteler fired one round. Boteler was eventually taken into custody and the pistol was recovered.

Prior to his arrest in this case, Boteler had been convicted of 13 other felony offenses, including Unlawful Possession and Distribution of Controlled Substances, Receiving Stolen Property, and Escape.

ATF investigated the case, along with the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Royster prosecuted the case. 

Updated January 26, 2023