Union Parish man pleads guilty to having a sawed-off shotgun

MONROE, La. (PRESS RELEASE) -- Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that a Farmerville man pleaded guilty last week to possessing a sawed-off shotgun in his car.

Juama Tremel Palmer, 33, of Farmerville, Louisiana, pleaded guilty Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen L. Hayes to one count of possession of an unregistered shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches. The plea will become final when accepted by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell.

According to the guilty plea, a Farmerville police officer conducted a traffic stop on Palmer’s vehicle on October 9, 2016 after receiving information that he was distributing narcotics. While searching the vehicle, the officer found a 12 gauge sawed-off shotgun and a loaded .22 caliber revolver with an obliterated serial number in the car. Additionally, the officer found $1,090, a pair of digital scales and a blue pill bottle containing several pills in Palmer’s pockets. Also found in the car were 13 grams of suspected marijuana and 11 small baggies containing more than 3 grams of crack cocaine.

Shotguns with an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel less than 18 inches in length must be registered with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

Palmer faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, forfeiture of the seized items and a $10,000 fine. The court set a sentencing date of September 27, 2017.

This investigation and prosecution is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, which is a Department of Justice initiative to promote firearm safety and to reduce firearm crimes by preventing the possession and use of firearms by dangerous and persistent felons and others not authorized to possess a firearm.

The ATF and Farmerville Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys R. Paul Gillespie and Earl M. Campbell are prosecuting the case.