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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 13, 2018

U.S. Attorney Announces the Indictments of Nineteen Individuals on Federal Firearms Charges; Several are Convicted Felons

Memphis, TN – On March 29, 2018, a federal grand jury indicted 19 individuals for federal firearms violations. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee announced the indictments today. As charged in the indictments, seventeen of the defendants are prohibited by federal firearms laws from possessing firearms. In three of the cases, the grand jury charged the defendants with using a firearm during a drug or violent crime.

Several defendants charged in this series of indictments are alleged to be convicted felons. Under federal law, it is illegal for an individual convicted of a felony to possess a firearm. This is a violation of Title 18, United States Code (USC), § 922(g)(1). A violation of this section is punishable by a term of up to 10 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of no less than two years. The penalty for a violation of § 922(g)(1) is enhanced when a defendant has a prior criminal record that includes three convictions for a violent felony or serious drug offenses. Under this enhanced sentencing provision, the defendant is subject to a mandatory minimumstatutory sentence of at least 15 years imprisonment, with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: "It is the goal of the Justice Department to reduce violent crime. As part of this effort, our office places a high priority on the criminal prosecution of individuals who, because they are convicted felons or have convictions for misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, illegally possess firearms, or who use firearms to commit violent crimes or engage in drug trafficking while armed. We will continue our effort to reduce violent crime in West Tennessee by aggressively prosecuting those who possess firearms illegally or use firearms to commit crimes."

Federal firearms laws also prohibit an individual convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence from possessing a firearm. This is a violation of 18 USC §922(g)(9). An individual convicted of violating this section is subject to a term of up to 10 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of no less than two years.

It is also against federal law to possess or use and carry a firearm during or in relation to a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime. This is a violation of 18 USC § 924(c). A violation of this section is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of at least five years imprisonment to a maximum of life imprisonment.

Dennis Boykin, 26, of Memphis, was charged with possessing a Phoenix Arms .25 caliber pistol after being convicted of a felony, in violation of 18 USC § 922(g)(1). Assistant U.S. Attorney Libby Rogers is prosecuting this case.

Brian Brock, 38, of Memphis, was charged with possessing a Raven Arms .25 caliber pistol after being convicted of a felony, in violation of 18 § USC 922(g)(1). He was also charged in a second count of the indictment with possessing the same firearm after being convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence in violation of 18 USC § 922(g)(9). Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryce Phillips is prosecuting this case.

Kristen Brenner, 32, of Memphis, was charged with possessing a Sig Sauer 9mm caliber pistol after being convicted of a felony, in violation of 18 USC § 922(g)(1). Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Hartridge is prosecuting this case.

Jacob Buggs, 36, of Memphis, was charged with possessing a Jimenez 9mm caliber pistol after being convicted of a felony, in violation of 18 USC § 922(g)(1). Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Hartridge is prosecuting this case.

Timothy Cook, 27, of Memphis, was charged with possessing a Harrington and Richardson .32 S&W long caliber revolver after being convicted of a felony, in violation of 18 USC § 922(g)(1). Assistant U.S. Attorney David Biggers is prosecuting this case.

Marquez Harris, 25, of Memphis, was charged with possessing a Riger 9mm caliber pistol after being a convicted of a felony, in violation of 18 USC § 922(g)(1). Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Hartridge is prosecuting this case.

Artavious Holmes, 23, of Memphis, was charged with possessing a Baretta 9mm caliber pistol in furtherance of drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 USC § 924(c), and possession of less than 50 kilograms of marijuana with intent to distribute, in violation of 21 USC § 841(a)(1). The marijuana violation, as charged in the indictment, is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of at least 2 years. Assistant U.S. Attorney Libby Rogers is prosecuting this case.

Alfonzo Johnson a/k/a "Alphonzo Johnson," 37, of Memphis was charged with possessing a Raven Arms .25 caliber pistol after being convicted of a felony, in violation of 18 USC § 922(g)(1). Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryce Phillips is prosecuting this case.

Philanese Martin, 34, ofMemphis, has been charged with possessing a Ruger .380 caliber pistol after being convicted of a felony in violation of 18 USC § 922(g)(1) and with intent to distribute marijuana; cocaine; and crack cocaine, in violation of title 21 USC § 841(a)(1). As charged in the indictment, the § 841(a)(1) violations are punishable by imprisonment for no more than 20 years, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of at least three years. Assistant U.S. Attorney Libby Rogers is prosecuting this case.

Jeremy McGarvey, 23, of Munford, has been charged with possessing a Remington .30-06 caliber rifle and a Taurus .380 caliber pistol after being convicted of a felony, in violation of 18 USC § 922(g)(1). Assistant U.S. Attorney Raney Irwin is prosecuting this case.

Hittites McKinney, 24, of Memphis, has been charged with possessing a Sig Sauer .40 caliber pistol after being convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, in violation of 18 USC § 922(g)(9). Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryce Phillips is prosecuting this case.

Henry Mitchell, 39, of Memphis, has been charged with possessing a Browning 9mm pistol after being convicted of a felony, in violation of 18 USC § 922(g)(1). Assistant U.S. Attorney Libby Rogers is prosecuting this case.

Rodney Lee Parnell, 51, of West Memphis, AR, has been charged with the robbery of the Best Western Hotel on Madison Avenue in Memphis, in violation of 18 USC § 1951, and using and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, in violation of 18 USC § 924 (c). A violation of § 1951, the Hobbs Act, is punishable by a term of imprisonment of no more than 20 years, a fine of no more than $250,000, and a mandatory term of supervised release of five years. As charged in the indictment, a violation of § 924(c) is punishable by a minimum mandatory sentence of at least seven years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Whitmore is prosecuting this case.

Lazarus Payne, 34, of Memphis, has been charged with possessing an American Tactical 5.56 caliber rifle after being convicted of a felony, in violation of 18 USC § 922(g)(1). Assistant U.S. Attorney Raney Irwin is prosecuting this case.

Marlon Pruitt, 44, of Memphis, was charged with possessing a Winchester 20 gauge shotgun after being convicted of a felony, in violation of 18 USC 922(g)(1). He was also charged with possession of less than 50 kilograms of marijuana with intent to distribute in violation of 21 USC § 841(a)(1). This violation is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. William Crow is prosecuting this case.

Stephen Seward, 28, of Memphis, was charged in a four-count indictment with violating federal firearms and drug laws. In count 3 of the indictment, he was charged with possessing a Sig Sauer .22 caliber pistol and a Ruger .380 caliber pistol after being convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, in violation of 18 USC § 922(g)(9). He was also charged in 2 counts of the indictment with possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to distribute in violation of 21 USC § 841(a)(1). Each drug violation is punishable by a term of imprisonment of no more than 20 years, a fine of no more than $1,000,000, and a term of supervised release of at least 3 years. The grand jury also charged Seward with possessing a Sig Sauer .22 caliber pistol and a Ruger .380 caliber pistol in furtherance of the drug crimes charged in the indictment, in violation of title 18 USC § 924(c). A violation of § 924(c) as charged in this case is punishable by a minimum mandatory sentence of at least five years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. William Crow is prosecuting this case.

Christopher Smith, 26, of Memphis, was charged with possessing a Magnum Research 9 mm caliber pistol after being convicted of a felony, in violation of 18 USC § 922(g)(1). Assistant U.S. Attorney Marques Young is prosecuting this case.

Leroy Taylor, 28, of Memphis, was charged with possessing a Ceska Zbrojovka 9 X 19mm caliber pistol after being convicted of a felony, in violation of 18 USC § 922(g)(1). Assistant U.S. Attorney Raney Irwin is prosecuting this case.

Terrance Ware, 25, of Memphis, was charged with possessing a Taurus .40 caliber pistol after being convicted of a felony, in violation of 18 USC § 922(g)(1). Assistant U.S. Attorney Marques Young is prosecuting this case.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictments are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated April 13, 2018