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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Arkansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Lonsdale Man Sentenced To Over 6 Years In Federal Prison For Felon In Possession Of A Firearm Violation

Hot Springs, Arkansas - Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Steven Nelson a.k.a Steven Varnes, age 40, of Lonsdale, was sentenced yesterday to 78 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Receiving and Possessing an Unregistered Firearm. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Hot Springs.

According to court records, in November 2016, officers with the Glenwood Police Department were dispatched to the scene of a two vehicle accident. One of the drivers was attempting to identify himself using a false name and birthdate with an expired identification card. Officers became suspicious and confronted the individual with this information, and the individual was identified as Nelson. Further investigation revealed that Nelson’s driver’s license was suspended and that he was a convicted felon. Nelson was then placed under arrest.  

A search of Nelson revealed a live 12-gauge shotgun shell in his pocket and a search of the vehicle he operated revealed twenty-one (21) 12-gauge shotgun shells, and a short-barreled, 12-gauge shotgun.  A subsequent search of the National Firearm Registration and Transfer record revealed that Nelson’s short-barreled shotgun was not registered to Nelson in violation of federal law.

Nelson was indicted by a federal grand jury in January 2017 and entered a guilty plea in September 2017.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Glenwood Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Donat prosecuted the case for the United States.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated June 27, 2018