Skip to main content
Press Release

Omaha Man Sentenced as Felon in Possession of a Firearm

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

Acting United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that Ja’Von Smith, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska, was sentenced on November 1, 2021 in federal court in Omaha as a felon in possession of a firearm.  Senior United States District Judge Joseph F. Bataillon sentenced Smith to imprisonment for a term of 24 months. There is no parole in the federal system.  After his release from prison, Smith will begin a 3-year term of supervised release.

On December 1, 2019, Smith was observed by officers while police were conducting surveillance at a recent homicide memorial where rival gang members were gathering to discuss retaliatory action for a murder that took place the day before.

Officers observed several gang members acting in a manner which indicated that they were armed. When officers attempted to make contact with these parties, they fled in a vehicle.  A high-speed chase occurred.  Smith was identified as a passenger in the vehicle that was being driven by co-defendant Markese Davis. While being pursued, officers observed a handgun thrown from the vehicle.  The gun, a .40 caliber handgun, was recovered by officers and submitted to a forensic lab for testing.   

DNA of both Smith and Davis was recovered from the handgun.  Smith had previously been convicted of felony possession of a stolen firearm in the Douglas County, Nebraska on March 13, 2017. Davis, also a convicted felon, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 24 months in the Bureau of Prisons on February 19, 2021. 

This case was primarily investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and was part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

Updated November 2, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses