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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 9, 2018

Opelousas man sentenced to 57 months in prison for illegal possession of a firearm

LAFAYETTE, La. United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that an Opelousas man was sentenced Thursday to more than four years in prison for possessing a pistol even though he was previously convicted of a felony and prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Willie Jamal Reynolds, 28, of Opelousas, La., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote on one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release. According to the September 15, 2017 guilty plea, police arrested Reynolds on June 3, 2017 for possessing a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol. After further investigation, police found a 15-minute video online of Reynolds and a friend in the presence of numerous firearms. Reynolds was convicted of a felony in September of 2013 and is not allowed to possess a firearm.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safe for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

The ATF and the Opelousas Police Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Dominic Rossetti prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated February 9, 2018