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Press Release

Convicted Felon Sentenced to Federal Prison for Gun Possession

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

Memphis, TN – James Howard, 43 has been sentenced to federal prison for 92 months for possession of a firearm. Acting U.S. Attorney Joseph C. Murphy Jr., announced the sentence today.

According to information presented in court, on July 21, 2019, Memphis Police officers responded to an Aggravated Assault/Domestic Violence call in the 3700 block of Weaver Road. Upon arrival, the victim A.W. advised that her boyfriend, Howard, was intoxicated and acting irrationally. She reported they were in an argument, when Howard "racked" a shotgun and stated he was "going to plant her." Howard left the residence, the victim's sister, S.H. removed her from the residence.

As the victim and her sister were driving, Howard called the victim from the house phone and threatened to kill her and himself. Realizing that Howard had again broken into her home, the victim and her sister drove to a nearby fire station to call law enforcement. After repeated attempts to enter the home, the officers finally gained access and removed Howard, who was taken into custody without further incident. While searching the home officers recovered a Remington Arms 16-gauge shotgun under a dresser.

Howard is a convicted felon having previously been convicted of felony drug trafficking offenses, Aggravated Assault, Domestic Violence, and Battery Upon a Peace Officer. As a result of his felony convictions, Howard is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.

On November 3, 2020, Howard pled guilty to possessing the weapon.

On April 7, 2021, U.S. District Court Judge Sheryl H. Lipman sentenced Howard to 92 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

This case was investigated by the Memphis Police Department and Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Task Force. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative is 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. In 2017, PSN was reinvigorated as 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.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Raney Irwin and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel D. Winnig prosecuted this case on behalf of the government. SAUSA Winnig is currently assigned from the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office for the purpose of prosecuting violent crimes and firearms offenses in federal court.



Cherri Green
Reentry and Community Outreach Coordinator
(901) 544-4231

Updated April 9, 2021