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Press Release

Illegal Alien Possessing Firearms Sentenced to Nearly Seven Years in Federal Prison

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

BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge today sentenced a Honduran national to nearly seven years in prison for being in the United States illegally and possessing firearms, one that was used in a 2016 homicide at a Bessemer nightclub, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent in Charge Ray Parmer.

U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins sentenced WALTER ALONSO MARTINEZ-CHANDIAS, 27, to six years and nine months in prison on one count of possession of a firearm by an alien illegally in the U.S. Martinez-Chandias pled guilty to the charge in March.

Following an Oct. 23, 2016, homicide at a nightclub in Bessemer, Birmingham Police identified Martinez-Chandias as a suspect, according to his guilty plea. Birmingham officers arrested him following a traffic stop near his Bessemer residence when they saw an AR-style .223-caliber pistol on the front passenger seat next to Martinez-Chandias and a Taurus PT-111 Pro 9mm pistol on the driver’s seat next to his leg, according to the plea. Martinez-Chandias was the only person in the car.

He later admitted to detectives that he possessed the Taurus pistol in connection to the nightclub shooting, according to his plea. Immigration records confirmed that Martinez-Chandias was in the country illegally.

Martinez-Chandias faces state charges in connection to the Bessemer homicide. Judge Hopkins ordered that his federal prison sentence run concurrently with any sentence that might be imposed for the state crime.

ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Birmingham Police Department investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Austin Shutt prosecuted.





Updated August 24, 2017