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Press Release

Judge Sentences Convicted Felon for Making False Statements on Federal Background Check Form While Attempting to Purchase a Firearm

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

Memphis, TN – A local man has been sentenced to federal prison for making false statements on an ATF Federal Background Check Form while attempting to purchase a firearm, and for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the sentence in the "lie-and-try" case today.

According to information presented in court, on December 2, 2017, Everette Alexander, 48, attempted to purchase a Cobra .380 handgun from Flash Pawn. Alexander completed ATF Background Check Form 4473, falsely indicating he was not a convicted felon. The Tennessee Instant Check System (TICS) denied the transaction. Alexander appealed TICS’ decision, and was given a conditional proceed and paid $50 cash toward the purchase. On December 16, 2017, Alexander returned to Flash Pawn and paid $ 195.71 to finalize the purchase, and took possession of the firearm.

On December 8, 2017, TICS faxed a form to the Shelby County General Sessions and Criminal Court Clerk’s Office to determine if Alexander was a prohibited person due to a prior conviction. On January 31, 2018, Shelby County Criminal Court Clerk’s Office responded indicating that Alexander had a felony conviction in 1995 for possession of marijuana with intent to sell.

ATF received notice on February 12, 2018, that TICS delayed denial for Alexander. ATF law enforcement notified Alexander and gave him the option to transfer the gun or return it to Flash Pawn. Alexander agreed to return the gun to Flash Pawn. Although ATF arranged to have Alexander return the firearm, he never arrived to return the firearm. After evading law enforcement, Alexander finally returned the firearm to Flash Pawn and received store credit for the purchase.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "Prosecutions of violent crimes must be paired with proactive prevention efforts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other prohibited persons. A valuable tool in this prevention effort is the ATF Background Check Form 4473, which must be completed before a federally licensed firearms dealer sells or transfers a firearm. Criminals and other prohibited persons who attempt to thwart the background check process by lying on the required forms threaten to undermine this important crime prevention tool, and such conduct cannot be tolerated. Let this serve as a warning: This office will vigorously prosecute and hold accountable any prohibited persons who attempt to illegally obtain a firearm in these ‘lie-and-try’ cases."

On June 5, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Norris sentenced Alexander to 10 months imprisonment followed by 2 years supervised release.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) investigated this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney P. Neal Oldham prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.


Updated June 6, 2019