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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Federal Jury ConvictsWest Tennessee Man of being a Felon in Possession of a Stolen Firearm

Memphis, TN – A federal jury has found a West Tennessee man guilty of being a felon in possession of a stolen firearm. D. Michael Dunavant, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee announced the guilty verdict today.

According to evidence presented at trial, on April 10, 2018, Halls Police Department and the Dyer County Sheriff’s office responded to a "shots fired" call at the Senior Center in Halls, Tennessee. The defendant, Keaston Tipton, 28, was in one of three vehicles fleeing the scene. When law enforcement responded to the area where the vehicle was headed, they observed Tipton throwing a firearm out of the driver’s side window. Officers retrieved the firearm just south of Dyersburg, and later determined it to be a stolen firearm. At one point during the chase, Tipton tried to evade law enforcement, turning his vehicle off on a side road and pulling into the parking lot of the Sunrise Inn.

He then abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot, but was soon apprehended. As he was caught, Tipton advised officers he had been in the Inn all day and was simply taking a walk to a nearby convenience store. Officers with the Halls Police Department were able to obtain a surveillance video of the shooting at the Senior Center. In the video, Tipton is identified wearing the same clothing as when he was apprehended, shooting and possessing a firearm. Tipton has prior felony convictions for conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (cocaine), and evading arrest.

Sentencing is set for July 23, 2019 before Chief District Court Judge S. Thomas Anderson, where the defendant faces a possible sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment for violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1).

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "Convicted felons who possess firearms are an inherent danger to the community, and this defendant continued to possess and recklessly discharge a stolen firearm despite his prior felony conviction history. There is and ought to be a significant consequence for such recidivist criminal behavior, and this is one more gun-toter that will be removed from our streets. Gun Crime is Max Time."

This case was investigated by the Halls Police Department; Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department; Dyer County Sheriff's Department; Tennessee Highway Patrol; Dyersburg Police Department; FBI Safe Streets Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Assistant U.S. Attorney Hillary Parham is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

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Contact: 
Cherri Green Public Information Officer Cherri.Green@usdoj.gov 901-544-4231
Updated April 23, 2019