Feds & LMPD Continue to Lean In On Gun Prosecutions
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Following a record-breaking number of prosecutions of violent felony offenders in possession of firearms in 2018, the United States Attorney’s office has charged a new round of cases in 2019 as part of the ongoing Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) effort to tackle violent crime in Metro Louisville.
The first round of indictments in 2019 resulted in 26 defendants charged in 24 Indictments. The indictments returned were a result of the ongoing partnership between federal prosecutors and their counterparts from the Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office who work hand-in-hand with the Louisville Metro Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The combined effort is a key component of the Department of Justice’s PSN initiative - which targets the area’s most violent offenders.
The United States Attorney’s Office Western District of Kentucky charged 110 PSN defendants in 2018.
“Kentucky families deserve to be safe regardless of zip code,” said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “These Project Safe Neighborhoods surges are a powerful tool in removing the trigger-pullers from our streets.”
Defendants charged have previously been found guilty of numerous crimes, including: burglary, robbery, facilitation to murder, narcotics trafficking, fleeing or evading police, escape, tampering with a witness, and assault.
The latest round of indictments charges Dominique Tribble, 26, of Louisville, with being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm; he was convicted in 2015 of trafficking heroin. Tribble was recently arrested on state charges for a double shooting that took place in front of a business in Shively.
Matthew R. Smith, of Willisburg, was also charged by a federal grand jury in a three count indictment with being an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance in possession of eight firearms, two counts of possession of an unregistered firearm – a Colt AR-15 machinegun, and four AR-15 auto sears, which allows the guns to fire multiple rounds with one pull of the trigger. The Springfield, Kentucky Police Department arrested the Defendant in a business’ parking lot in November of 2018.
Also charged in the indictments is Mark Lundy, 39, of Bardstown, in a two count indictment with being a prohibited person (an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance) in possession of 17 firearms and possession of marijuana in connection with a large hemp/marijuana growing operation.
If convicted at trial, the maximum sentence for unlawfully possessing a firearm is no more than ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. If that firearm is possessed or used in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, a defendant faces a mandatory minimum five years in prison in addition to the sentence received for the underlying charges, and could receive up to life in prison. Some of the 26 defendants qualify as Armed Career Criminals, facing a mandatory 15 year minimum sentence, or repeat drug traffickers, facing a mandatory 10, 15, or 25 year minimum sentence.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Joe Ansari, Robert Bonar, Nute Bonner, Thomas Dyke, Larry Fentress, Alicia Gomez, Lettricea Jefferson-Webb, Corinne Keel, Jo Lawless, Erin McKenzie, Spencer McKiness, Randy Ream, Mac Shannon, Chris Tieke and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ebert Haegele with stalwart assistance from Laura Stinson, Western District of Kentucky Grand Jury Coordinator. The cases are being investigated by Louisville Metro Police Department; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Springfield Police Department; Kentucky State Police; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Shively Police Department; and the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement to specifically identify criminals responsible for significant violent crime in the Western District of Kentucky. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Today’s indictments are part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative in the Western District of Kentucky.
The indictment of a person by a Grand Jury is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.