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Press Release

Cleveland Man Convicted of Shooting at Federal Agents, Sex Trafficking of a Juvenile and Production of Child Pornography

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

U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan announced that a federal jury returned guilty verdicts today against Defendant Reuben Rankin, 36, of Cleveland, Ohio, following a nine-day trial before U.S. District Judge Pamela A. Barker in Cleveland.  Rankin was convicted of assaulting a federal agent with a deadly weapon, discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, sex trafficking of a minor, production of child pornography and being a felon in possession of a firearm.   

On October 30, 2019, law enforcement officers with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) executed a search warrant at Rankin’s residence in Cleveland as part of an investigation into the trafficking of a minor victim.  As law enforcement agents approached the residence, Rankin fired six shots in rapid succession at the agents through the window of his vehicle parked in the driveway.  An agent returned fire.  Officers then arrested Rankin and recovered a .45 caliber pistol, spent rounds of ammunition, drugs and two cell phones from his vehicle.

Rankin is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition due to previous convictions of kidnapping, witness intimidation, aggravated assault and abduction in the Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court.

Rankin is scheduled to be sentenced on July 12, 2022.  A federal district court judge will determine a sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, the Cuyahoga County Human Trafficking Task Force and the Cleveland Police Department.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Carol M. Skutnik, Edward F. Feran and Vanessa V. Healy.

Updated January 28, 2022

Project Safe Childhood
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime