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Press Release

Lake Charles man pleads guilty for possessing a stolen firearm at a casino

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

LAKE CHARLES, La. United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced today that Jeremy Rankins, 28, of Lake Charles, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge James D. Cain Jr. for possessing a stolen firearm at a casino.

According to the guilty plea, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a complaint on May 19, 2018, of an attempted armed robbery with a firearm and an attempted carjacking at a Lake Charles casino.  Upon arrival, officers came in contact with Rankins, who had already been detained by the casino’s security officers.  Deputies also spoke with the 61-year-old victim, who stated that she was in her car at around 4 a.m. when Rankins sat in the passenger seat brandishing a firearm and demanding money.  She denied having any money, at which point he demanded the keys to her car.  The hotel security later detained Rankins, and while he was being questioned, a witness discovered the loaded 9 mm Ruger handgun he used on the ground under a truck tire.  The investigation revealed that the handgun was stolen on May 17, 2018, from a vehicle parked in the casino’s parking garage.

Rankins faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The court set the sentencing date for November 14, 2019. 

The ATF and Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Vermaelen is prosecuting the case.

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  Project Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Updated August 15, 2019

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods