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Press Release

Jury Finds Local Man Guilty of Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Discharging Weapon

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


Memphis, TN – After a two-day trial, a federal jury convicted a local man of being a felon in possession of a firearm. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the guilty verdict today.

According to information presented in court, Stephen Derring, 47, was charged in a one-count indictment with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Derring was involved in a physical altercation with patrons outside of Ralph’s Bar and Grill located at 5162 Millbranch Road in Memphis, Tennessee. After the physical altercation, Derring drove to a nearby apartment complex and returned with a firearm. Derring brandished the firearm and fired a shot before fleeing the scene back to the apartment complex. Law enforcement arrested Derring and recovered the firearm after his attempt to evade police.

Sentencing is set for September 19, 2019 before U.S. District Court Judge John T. Fowlkes, Jr., where the defendant faces a possible sentence of up to ten years in federal prison.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative, 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.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "Under our PSN initiative, we focus on removing firearms from the hands of prohibited persons, and removing dangerous felons from our streets. Clearly, this felon had no hesitation in committing a violent crime with a firearm,

and he will now be removed from our community for up to 10 years. We are FED UP. Gun Crime is Max Time."

The case was investigated by the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Task Force, which includes the U.S. Attorney’s Office; the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Memphis Police Department; and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, who have all joined together to address gun-related crimes through targeted investigations and aggressive prosecution.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marques Young is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.


Updated June 6, 2019