Investigation nets 71 arrests, takes 140 guns off North AL stree - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Investigation nets 71 arrests, takes 140 guns off North AL streets

(Source: Raycom Media) (Source: Raycom Media)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

An investigation conducted by the Department of Justice for two-months focused on reducing violent crime in Birmingham, and across north Alabama resulted in federal charges against 71 defendants and over 100 guns were seized. 

"At the Department of Justice, we've increased violent crime prosecutions to 25-year highs and gun prosecutions to 10-year highs," U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. "Under our Project Safe Neighborhoods program, I've directed our U.S. Attorneys to target the most violent criminals in the most high-crime areas, and to work with people in the community to develop a customized crime-reduction plan. That's exactly what U.S. Attorney Jay Town has done in Northern Alabama. I want to thank him, Sheriff Mike Hale, ATF, Birmingham Police, and all of our other fabulous law enforcement partners who have made these arrests and firearm seizures possible. I have no doubt they have made my fellow Alabamians safer. This roundup is more proof that our targeted, community-based model really works."

The majority of the 71 defendants facing current gun charges have at least one prior felony conviction. The total number of prior convictions tops 160. There are at least 40 additional arrests among the defendants for violent offenses, including charges such as domestic violence, assault, and attempted murder, and at least 13 of the 71 defendants are suspected of having a gang affiliation.

“These indictments represent the hard work of many of our law enforcement partners, especially the ATF, and exemplify our global efforts to return our neighborhoods to their rightful, peaceful owners,” Town said. “The Department of Justice has reserved space in federal prison for gang members, trigger-pullers, violent offenders, and felons with guns … and we plan on filling it. We must shift our prosecutorial philosophy more towards Capone rather than Soprano, not conflating the level of crime with the level of criminal,” Town said.

Law enforcement seized one firearm from the majority of the defendants charged during the operation in March and April, but five or more guns were seized from at least eight defendants. Among the 140 firearms seized, at least 30 were identified as stolen, according to ATF.

These cases are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, 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. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 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.

Spring 2018 Gun Roundup Defendants - Indictments unsealed as of May 5, 2018

  • James Vantrez Pointer, 28, Talladega, felon in possession of a firearm, possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
  • Kevin Ray Gooden, 41, Talladega felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Frank Gooden Jr., 26, Talladega, possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
  • Gregory Archie Green, 36, Talladega, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Marcus Elijah Millender, 26, Talladega, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Michael Means, 61, Birmingham, felon in possession of a firearm. 
  • Montrell Towns, 24, Birmingham, carrying a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime.
  • Randel Smoot, 25, Birmingham, felon in possession of a firearm (two counts), aiding and abetting in the straw purchase of a firearm.
  • Amber Frazier, 23, Center Point; straw purchase of a firearm.
  • Jimbroski Peterson, 27, Birmingham, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Francisco Colorado-Cruz, 37, Trafford, illegal alien in possession of a firearm.
  • Joshua Michael Roden, 32, Vinemont, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Christopher Nash, 36, Cleveland, Ala., carrying a firearm in relation to a drug-trafficking crime, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Teaundra Pollnitz, 25, Irondale, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Tyrese Vault, 24, Birmingham, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Jerry Michael Rogers, 33, Sulligent, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Raymond Lamont Cochran, 37, Jasper, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Jacario Montez Kelly, 29, Goodwater, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Dustin Thomas McCombs, 27, Birmingham, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Patrick Earl Trotman, 34, Huntsville, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Dwight Orr, 25, Birmingham, felon in possession of ammunition.
  • David Matthew Pugh, 48, Lauderdale County, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Douglas Andrew Greenhaw, 54, Morgan County, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Joey Caffery, 39, Hazel Green, possession of an unregistered firearm silencer; felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Willverto Foster, 38, Huntsville, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Corey Dewayne Morrow, 45, Albertville, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Juri Jevone Love, 36, Huntsville, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Martin Pena, 38, Jackson County, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Pedro Pascal Andres, 50, Boaz, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.
  • Filiberto Gomez-Flores, 42, a Mexican citizen living in Horton, an illegal alien in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Brian Dale Lane, 57, Albertville, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense.
  • Demetria Scott, 25, Center Point, felon in possession of a firearm (two counts).
  • Benjamin Madison, 37, Birmingham, armed bank robbery, brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence (two counts), attempted armed bank robbery, felon in possession.
  • Nicholas Jerisaac Lynch, 23, Tuscaloosa, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.
  • Tory Dewayne McLemore, 29, Sylacauga, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • David Armand Palmer, 20, Birmingham, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Christopher Artislee Taylor, 24, Anniston, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Matthew Edward Childers, 19, Cullman, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Dennis Dell Long, 59, Northport, felon in possession of a firearm
  • Stanley Keon Walker Jr., 23, Tuscaloosa, felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Adarius Montrells Sims, 30, Birmingham, felon in possession.
  • Ronald Deray Ross, 29, Bessemer, felon in possession.
  • Carlos Alberto Juarez-Mendez, 24, Birmingham, illegal re-entry, felon in possession of a firearm, illegal alien in possession of a firearm.
  • Charles Spears, 29, Danville, possession of an unregistered firearm silencer; production of a firearm silencer; possession of a firearm by a drug user/addict
  • Montrez Chebeir Martin, 33, Huntsville, felon in possession of a firearm.

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