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Press Release

Escape from Federal Custody and Illegal Possession of a Firearm Charges Land Two Defendants in Federal Prison

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

LAKE CHARLES, La. - United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced the resolution of two cases in the Western District of Louisiana today. United States District Judge James D. Cain, Jr. sentenced the two defendants as follows:

John Robert Stevens, Jr., 35, of Lake Charles, Louisiana, was sentenced to 51 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for illegal possession of a firearm.  Stevens pleaded guilty to the charge on May 25, 2022 which stemmed from an incident that occurred in Lake Charles when officers with the Lake Charles Police Department were dispatched regarding complaints about a suspect named “John.” Officers arrived at the location and after an encounter with Stevens, found a Lorcin L25 in his front pants pocket, along with a glass tube with white residue wrapped in bubble wrap. Officers learned that Stevens was a convicted felon, and he was arrested. Their further investigation determined that Stevens had been walking along the street looking for his girlfriend when he encountered another couple. Stevens told officers he held the gun in his front pocket and gestured with it toward the couple and they were able to see the imprint of the gun through his jacket. Because Stevens has prior felony convictions, he is prohibited from having a firearm in his possession.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Lake Charles Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. McCoy.

Derrick Nathaniel Hartfield, 55, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release for escaping from federal custody. Hartfield was previously convicted on federal charges of aggravated identity theft and wire fraud in July 2012. He served his 84-month federal prison sentence and was released in March 2019. On January 8, 2020, his supervised release was revoked due to a violation, and he was sentenced to serve an additional 27 months in prison. During his sentence on the revocation, he was transferred to a CINC facility, also referred to as a halfway house, in Lake Charles to complete his sentence. On August 26, 2021, Hartfield stated he was enroute to the facility returning from work. However, an hour passed, and Hartfield never returned. CINC staff made several attempts to contact Hartfield, but he did not respond.  

On September 20, 2021, officers with the San Bernadino County, California, Sheriff’s Office responded to a local pizza restaurant in connection with a theft. Hartfield was identified as the suspect and taken into custody. A complaint was filed on September 23, 2021 charging Hartfield with escape from federal custody without permission.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Marshal’s Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamilla A. Bynog.

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Updated October 11, 2022