Five Defendants Appeared in Federal Court This Week for Firearms and Drug Offenses
ALEXANDRIA, SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced the resolution of several cases this week, all of which are separately noted.
SENTENCING – ALBERT MICKLUS III
Multi-Convicted Felon from Boyce Sentenced to Over Eight Years in Prison for Illegal Possession of a Firearm
ALEXANDRIA, La. – United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that Albert Micklus III, 31, of Boyce, Louisiana, was sentenced on February 11, 2020, by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell to 100 months in federal prison and one year of supervised release, after pleading guilty on November 6, 2019, to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
During the execution of an arrest warrant on April 24, 2018, officers with the U.S. Marshal’s Service Task Force found Micklus hidden in a camper and in possession of a Smith & Wesson M&P 5.56mm AR-15 rifle that he admitted to stealing during a home invasion.
Prior to his arrest on April 24, 2018, Micklus’ criminal history included felony convictions for attempted entry of an inhabited dwelling and contributing to the delinquency of a minor (2009), simple burglary and criminal conspiracy (2012), and possession of a controlled dangerous substance (2017). At the time of his arrest, he had outstanding state arrest warrants for attempted first degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, home invasion, aggravated cruelty to animals, domestic abuse battery, and second degree battery.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), U.S. Marshal’s Service, Louisiana State Police, and the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Leon H. Whitten prosecuted the case.
SENTENCING – DANIEL ELLSWORTH
Felon Sent Back to Prison for Illegal Possession of a Firearm
ALEXANDRIA, La. – United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that Daniel Lee Ellsworth, 29, of Alexandria, was sentenced on February 11, 2020, by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell to 32 months in prison and one year of supervised release, after pleading guilty on October 21, 2019, to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
On September 11, 2018, parole officers went to Ellsworth’s residence to conduct a compliance check. Ellsworth was on state probation at the time for a felony conviction in Rapides Parish for attempted possession of a firearm by a felon. While there, officers found a loaded 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun in his bedroom. Ellsworth is a multiple-time convicted felon, and admitted that he knew his status as a convicted felon prohibited him from possessing firearms or ammunition. There is no parole in the federal system.
Daniel Ellsworth has prior felony convictions in Rapides Parish for simple burglary (2009), possession of marijuana (2015), attempted possession of a firearm by a felon (2015), and drug paraphernalia (2018). He also has a prior felony conviction in Calcasieu Parish for illegal use of a weapon (2013). It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess firearms or ammunition.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections’ Division of Probation and Parole conducted the investigation. Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison D. Bushnell and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael T. Shannon prosecuted the case.
SENTENCING – RONALD LOUIS HALL JR.
Alexandria Felon Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Firearms and Drug Offenses
ALEXANDRIA – United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that Ronald Louis Hall Jr., 29, of Alexandria, Louisiana, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell, to 10 years in federal prison for possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and possession with intent to distribute Oxycodone. Judge Drell also sentenced Hall to three years of supervised release following his release from prison. Hall pled guilty to these charges on November 14, 2019.
On January 6, 2019, while traveling in Rapides Parish, a Louisiana State trooper initiated a stop of Hall’s vehicle for two traffic violations. As the officer approached the vehicle to make contact with Hall, he encountered the smell of burnt marijuana. Hall admitted to smoking marijuana earlier and consented to a search of his vehicle. During the search, officers found a 9mm extended magazine containing 16 rounds of ammunition in the glove compartment. Officers later discovered a hidden compartment in the vehicle that held five plastic cellophane bags containing 452 Oxycodone pills, a powerful opioid.
Hall has prior felony narcotics convictions in Rapides Parish for possession of marijuana second offense (2013) and third offense (2015), and possession with intent to distribute cocaine (2014). It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess firearms or ammunition.
The FBI Central Louisiana Safe Streets Task Force, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Louisiana State Police conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamilla A. Bynog prosecuted the case.
GUILTY PLEA – WILLIS ELMER LACOUR
Alexandria Man Admits to Distributing Methamphetamine
ALEXANDRIA, La. –United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that Willis Elmer Lacour, 39, entered a guilty plea today before U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell, for distribution of methamphetamine.
According to information presented to the court, Lacour was known to law enforcement as a multi-convicted drug felon who was distributing methamphetamine in and around Central Louisiana. On December 4, 2019, agents with the FBI Central Louisiana Safe Streets Task Force arrested Lacour for distribution of approximately 460 grams of methamphetamine. At the time of his arrest, officers found $1,851 in Lacour’s pocket and $5,640 in the glove compartment of the vehicle he was driving. Lacour claimed ownership of the cash found in the glove compartment and admitted to distributing the methamphetamine.
Lacour faces up to 10 years in prison, five years of supervised release, and a $10,000 fine at his sentencing on May 15, 2020.
The FBI Central Louisiana Safe Streets Task Force and Louisiana State Police conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney John A. Crawford is prosecuting the case.
GUILTY PLEA – KENTRELL DEMARCIA TURNER
Armed Drug Trafficker Pleads Guilty in Federal Court
SHREVEPORT, La. – A Shreveport resident pleaded guilty in federal court to violating federal narcotics and firearms laws, United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced.
Kentrell Demarcia Turner, 28, pleaded guilty on February 12, 2020, before Chief U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr., to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
During routine patrol on February 23, 2018, a Shreveport Police officer detected the smell of marijuana coming from a parked vehicle. As the officer approached the vehicle, Turner exited and stood near the open driver’s side door. Once out of the vehicle, officers could see a large plastic bag containing marijuana on the center console and a Ruger 9mm semi-automatic pistol on the driver’s side floorboard. The pistol was loaded with 13 rounds of ammunition. Officers also discovered $3,509 in Turner’s left front pocket. After Turner was transported to the Shreveport City Jail, he attempted to remove powder cocaine that he had hidden on his body. An inventory of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of cocaine rocks found on the floorboard behind the driver’s seat.
Turner has prior felony convictions from 2011 and 2012 in Caddo Parish for possession of a Schedule II controlled substance. It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess firearms or ammunition.
Judge Hicks scheduled sentencing for June 25, 2020, at which time Turner faces up to 20 years in prison for the cocaine charge, and five years in prison for the firearm charge.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Shreveport Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown is prosecuting the case.
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The firearms cases were brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. PSN is part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime. To learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods, go to www.justice.gov/psn.
The firearms cases are also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.