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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 3, 2019

Six Convicted Felons Receive Federal Prison Sentences This Week for Illegally Possessing Firearms and Ammunition

LAFAYETTE, ALEXANDRIA, MONROE, La. United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced the resolution of several cases this week, all of which are separately noted, that were brought pursuant to the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, which 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.

Duson Man Sentenced

LAFAYETTE - Donavon Henry, 30, of Duson, Louisiana, was sentenced September 30 by U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter, to 57 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.  Henry pleaded guilty on June 26, 2019.

On May 25, 2018, Henry was at a scene on Elm Street where Crowley police officers responded to a call.  Henry ran when the officers arrived.  Witnesses observed Henry discard a firearm under a house near the location where he was ultimately apprehended.  A Ruger, Model LCP .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol was recovered.  Henry admitted to ATF agents that he possessed the firearm and discarded it when he ran from the police. 

Donavon Henry’s prior felony convictions in state court include possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, aggravated second degree battery, and illegal carrying of a weapon. 

The ATF and Crowley Police Department conducted the investigation.  Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Myers P. Namie prosecuted the case.

Two Lafayette Men Sentenced

LAFAYETTE – Alexander Kou Chou, 37, of Lafayette, Louisiana, was sentenced September 30 by U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter, to 90 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon and possession of firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  Chou pleaded guilty on July 10, 2019. 

On October 18, 2018, Lafayette police officers pulled over a motorcycle that had been reported stolen and identified the man riding the motorcycle as Alexander Kou Chou.  During his arrest, Chou admitted to officers that he had a firearm in his waistband, which was identified as a loaded Sig Sauer, Model P220, .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol.  After the firearm was discovered, an officer found an array of drugs and an electronic scale in Chou’s jacket.  The drugs consisted of approximately 28 grams of heroin, 8 grams of cocaine and 10 grams of methamphetamine.  Chou admitted that he intended to distribute the drugs in his possession.

Alexander Chou’s prior felony convictions in state court include possession of methamphetamine and simple burglary.

The ATF and Lafayette Police Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Danny Siefker prosecuted the case.

LAFAYETTE – Bryce Chapman, 28, of Lafayette, Louisiana, was sentenced September 30 by U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter, to 72 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.  Chapman pleaded guilty on July 10, 2019.

On November 18, 2018, Rayne Police officers responded to a report of two men unconscious in a car at a local gas station.  Chapman was identified as the driver and was arrested after officers found him in possession of a Rossi .38 special caliber revolver.  Bryce Chapman has a prior felony conviction in state court for vehicular homicide. 

The ATF and Rayne Police Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Danny Siefker prosecuted the case.

Carencro Man Sentenced

LAFAYETTE, La. – Kaylon Rideaux, 24, of Carencro, Louisiana, was sentenced October 1 by Senior U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell, to 70 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.  Rideaux pleaded guilty on June 25, 2019.

On October 24, 2017, Carencro police officers arrived at a residence in Carencro to execute an arrest warrant on Rideaux unrelated to this event.  Rideaux informed the officers that he had a firearm in his possession.  An RG Model 23, .22 caliber revolver and four rounds of ammunition was recovered.  Kaylon Rideaux has a prior felony conviction in state court for simple robbery and was aware at the time of his arrest that he was prohibited from possessing a firearm and ammunition.  

The ATF and Carencro Police Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Vermaelen prosecuted the case.

Alexandria Man Sentenced

ALEXANDRIA – Demarcus Jontue Scales, 34, of Alexandria, Louisiana, was sentenced October 1 by Senior U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell, to 44 months in prison for felon in possession of a firearm, which will run consecutively with his 15-year sentence imposed by the state for murder.  Judge Drell also ordered Scales to three years of supervised release following his federal prison confinement.  Scales pleaded guilty on June 25, 2019. 

On January 30, 2018, an Alexandria police officer was on patrol looking for two suspects related to an armed robbery that had occurred earlier that day.  Officers noticed a male walking approximately one block from the location of the robbery who matched the description of one of the robbery suspects.  The male, later identified as Demarcus Scales, began to run when he saw the marked police car and crawled under a vehicle.  The officer pursued Scales and observed him throw an object toward the front of the vehicle.  A Smith and Wesson revolver, Victory model, .38 caliber special, which was loaded with five rounds of ammunition, was retrieved from the ground.  Scales admitted that the firearm belonged to him and that he ran because he knew he had outstanding warrants.  He also admitted that he knew as a convicted felon he was not supposed to have the firearm. 

Scales has a long rap sheet that includes felony convictions for possession of marijuana, attempted possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, attempted illegal use of a firearm, possession of synthetic marijuana, firearm possession by felon, and manslaughter.  Scales has been arrested multiple times for weapons possession, and has demonstrated his willingness to use them. 

The ATF and Alexandria Police Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany E. Fields prosecuted the case.

Monroe Man Sentenced

MONROE – Derrick Antonio Hall, 37, of Monroe, Louisiana, was sentenced October 2 by U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty, to nine years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for possession of firearm by a convicted felon.  Hall pleaded guilty on June 18, 2019. 

On July 20, 2018, Hall drove to a gas station in Monroe and left the car idling with loud music playing as he entered the gas station.  Monroe police arrived shortly thereafter and observed the unattended vehicle.  When the officers approached Hall upon his return to the vehicle, they smelled marijuana coming from inside the car and saw a bag of suspected marijuana.  During a search of the vehicle, an officer found a Glock, Model: G26, 9 mm-caliber pistol with an extended magazine containing 24 rounds of ammunition.

Derrick Hall has prior felony convictions in state court for carrying a firearm on school property (2001), and for distribution of cocaine (2004).

The ATF and Monroe Police Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Leon H. Whitten is prosecuting the case.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of a firearm or ammunition.

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Updated October 3, 2019