Former Alabama Department of Corrections Lieutenant Pleads Guilty to Federal Civil Rights and Obstruction Offenses for Assaulting a Restrained Inmate and Lying to Cover It Up
BIRMINGHAM – Federal agents on Thursday arrested a former Fairfield Police Department custodian on federal firearms charges returned by a grand jury on July 26, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Hyche.
A two-count federal indictment charges ROY ELLIS HUNTER, 70, of Fairfield, as a convicted felon in illegal possession of nearly 50 firearms, mostly handguns. The federal indictment was unsealed following his arrest Thursday. Hunter was arraigned today before a federal magistrate judge and released on bond. He was arrested on state firearms charges in July 2015 following a joint ATF and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency raid at his home. Hunter was working as the police department custodian in Fairfield at the time. He was released on a state bond pending those charges.
“Taking a convicted felon in control of a cache of firearms off the streets is the kind of law enforcement work that greatly reduces the threat of violence in our communities,” Vance said. “We should all appreciate the collaborative work of ATF and ALEA agents in investigating this case and bringing it forward for prosecution.”
“Putting a stop to this flow of confiscated firearms into the community, no doubt, has had an effect on crime in the area,” Hyche said. “Firearms that had been used in crimes and recovered by police getting back into the hands of a convicted felon who was selling them had to be stopped as fast as possible. Stolen firearms in the hands of violent criminals are an enormous problem for us in Alabama and nationally, so we aggressively work these cases with our law enforcement partners,” he said.
According to the indictment, Hunter was convicted on federal racketeering and cocaine distribution charges in 1984 and on federal counterfeiting charges in 1983. Count one of the indictment charges Hunter with being a convicted felon in possession of four handguns on June 4, 2015. Count two charges him as a convicted felon in possession of 42 firearms – 39 handguns, one rifle, one shotgun and a trigger group – on July 8, 2015.
The indictment seeks to have Hunter forfeit those 46 firearms, plus five others, to the government.
The maximum penalty for the charge of felon in possession of a firearm is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
ATF investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Royster is prosecuting.
An indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty