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Press Release

Illegal Alien Sentenced for Possession of Firearm

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

LAFAYETTE, La. Melvin Yovanni Maradiaga-Leinus a/k/a “Melvin Lainez,” 39, a native and citizen of Honduras, was sentenced for illegally possessing a firearm, Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced. United States District Judge Robert R. Summerhays sentenced Maradiaga-Leinus to 24 months in prison. Upon completion of his sentence, Maradiaga-Leinus will be remanded to the custody of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for removal proceedings.

The charges stem from a complaint received by the Lafayette Police Department on February 8, 2020 about two Hispanic males discharging a firearm. As a Lafayette Police Department officer was searching the area on foot, he observed another individual walking down the street and requested that the individual walk toward him. The suspect removed his shirt and a black handgun fell out. The law enforcement officer drew his weapon and the suspect picked up the firearm, at which point the officer discharged four shots at him, all of which missed. The suspect, who was later identified as Maradiaga-Leinus, was ordered to lie on the pavement and he complied. Officers approached Maradiaga-Leinus and he was found to be extremely intoxicated. He was arrested for possession of the firearm. Under federal law, it is unlawful for a person who is illegally in the United States to possess a firearm.

The Department of Homeland Security – Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Lafayette Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Ayo prosecuted the case.

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Updated October 26, 2020

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