Federal jury finds Lafayette man guilty of possessing a firearm after felony conviction
LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a federal jury found a Lafayette man guilty Thursday of possessing a handgun after being convicted of a felony.
Damion Hamilton, 32, of Lafayette, was found guilty of one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. United States District Judge Donald E. Walter presided over the trial, which started Tuesday and ended Thursday with the jury returning the guilty verdict after deliberating for approximately three hours. Evidence admitted at trial revealed that a traffic stop was conducted on a vehicle Hamilton was driving on January 19, 2016. A search of the vehicle was conducted, and a gun safe was found on the vehicle’s back seat. The safe was later opened, and a FNS-40 .40 caliber pistol and ammunition were found. In addition to DNA evidence, the pistol’s loaded magazine also had Hamilton’s fingerprints on it.
Hamilton faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, forfeiture of the weapon seized and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing will be set at a later date.
“Those prohibited from carrying firearms because of a prior felony will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Finley stated. “In this case, it took the work of federal and local law enforcement to bring this defendant to justice. These collaborations further our work to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and protect our community.”
This investigation and prosecution is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, which is a Department of Justice initiative to reduce firearm crimes by preventing the possession and use of firearms by dangerous and persistent felons and others not authorized to possess a firearm and to promote firearm safety.
The ATF and Lafayette Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamilla A. Bynog and Kelly P. Uebinger are prosecuting the case.