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Press Release

Felon Pleads Guilty To Unlawful Possession Of A Firearm

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

RENO, Nev. — Donte Jamar Smith, 41, of Reno, pleaded guilty today to felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich announced. 

According to court documents, Reno Police officers encountered Smith at a street intersection in Reno on July 27, 2019, asleep inside a running vehicle in a travel lane and smelling of alcohol. Upon exiting the vehicle, Smith became noncompliant with officers and during a search of his pants pocket, he was found in possession of a stolen .380 caliber semi-automatic firearm. Smith falsely informed the officers that he had been issued a concealed weapon permit. Smith is unable to lawfully possess firearms because he previously sustained three felony convictions in Clark County for offenses including Robbery with a Deadly Weapon, Burglary with use of a Deadly Weapon, and Ex-Felon in Possession of a Firearm. As Smith was escorted to a patrol vehicle, he attempted to flee on foot but was tackled and subdued.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Rachow is prosecuting the case.

Smith is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Miranda Du on February 24, 2020. Smith faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of its 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. For more information about PSN, visit


Updated October 24, 2019

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods