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Press Release

Paducah Man Charged With Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm

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

PACUCAH, Ky. – United States Attorney Russell Coleman today announced the charging of Salaam Muhammad AKA Wayne D. Askew, 46, for being a felon in possession of an AK-47 type assault rifle and ammunition via federal Criminal Complaint.

“This is exactly the type coordination between federal, state, and local law enforcement that best serves the people of the Purchase Region,” said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “While much remains unknown during this pandemic, Kentuckians should rest assured that the professionals of the ATF, Paducah Police Department, and United States Attorney’s Office remain on the job to protect their families.”

According to the Criminal Complaint, Paducah Police Department officers responding to a call identified Muhammad in a vehicle with a Norinco, model BWK-92 Sporter, 5.56 X 45, semiautomatic rifle, with a loaded magazine and round in the chamber.

The defendant was previously convicted for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of “crack” cocaine in case number 5:03-CR-17-R. Muhammad was convicted of the felony in United States District Court. The defendant was also convicted on December 18, 2000, in McCracken County Circuit Court in case number 00-CR-126, of 1st degree possession of a controlled substance, cocaine, a felony offense. He was also charged with assault resulting in a felony conviction in 1992.

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.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Seth Hancock who also serves as the Branch Chief of U.S. Attorney’s Office-Paducah. The case is being investigated by the Paducah Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in support of the Paducah Police Department.


A Criminal Complaint is an accusation only and

the person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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 Guardian and Project Safe Neighborhoods, programs that bring together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. 

Updated April 16, 2020