Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced today that an Opelousas man pleaded guilty to possessing a pistol even though he was previously convicted of a felony and prohibited from possessing a firearm. Willie Jamal Reynolds, 28, of Opelousas, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Hanna to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
The plea will become final when accepted by U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. According to the guilty plea, police arrested Reynolds on June 3, 2017 for possessing a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol. After further investigation, police found a 15-minute video online of Reynolds and a friend in the presence of numerous firearms. Reynolds is a felon after receiving a conviction in September of 2013 and is not allowed to possess a firearm. Reynolds faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The court did not set a sentencing date.
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 the Opelousas Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dominic Rossetti is prosecuting the case.