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New Orleans Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun Offense

Human RightsNew Orleans Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun Offense

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced on Tuesday, September 12, 2023 that KEILEN HAWKINS, age 25, pled guilty to a one-count indictment for being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). HAWKINS faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 15 years, up to a $250,000 fine, up to three years of supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment fee of $100. Sentencing in this case is set for December 20, 2023.

On February 12, 2023, members of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force investigated complaints made in the NOPD 5th District about ongoing illegal narcotics distribution in the area. As officers conducted surveillance, they observed what was believed to be a hand-to-hand narcotics transaction. While officers continued their investigation, HAWKINS arrived on the scene. Officers detained HAWKINS for safety purposes while they conducted their investigation. Eventually, HAWKINS advised that he was in possession of a firearm. Officers recovered a Glock Model 19, nine-millimeter semi-automatic pistol, bearing serial number BVCS826, from HAWKINS’s waistband. Officers learned that HAWKINS had prior felony convictions punishable by a term of imprisonment in excess of one year, which made his firearm possession illegal under federal law. Namely, HAWKINS had been convicted most recently on August 18, 2022, in the Criminal District Court for the Parish of Orleans, Case Number 552-193 “J,” for being a felon in possession of a firearm and illegal possession of a stolen firearm, in violation of LA-R.S. 14:95.1 and LA-R.S. 14:69.1.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the New Orleans Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Sarah Dawkins of the Violent Crime Unit is in charge of the prosecution.


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