New Orleans man sentenced for federal gun offense

Special to the Banner-News

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today that on Dec. 20, Keilen Hawkins, age 26, was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 71 months for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

In a one count indictment, Hawkins was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). He pled guilty on Sept. 12.

In addition to the term of imprisonment,Hawkins was also sentenced to three years of supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment fee of $100.

According to court documents, on Feb. 12, members of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force were investigating complaints made in the NOPD 5th District about ongoing illegal narcotics distribution in the area.

As officers conducted surveillance, they observed what they believed in their training and experience to be a hand-to-hand narcotics transaction. While officers continued their investigation, Hawkins arrived on the scene and officers detained him for safety reasons as they conducted their investigation.

Hawkins advised them that he was in possession of a firearm. Officers recovered a Glock Model 19, nine-millimeter semi-automatic pistol, 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 in 2022, for being a felon in possession of a firearm and illegal possession of a stolen firearm.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program, 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 violenct 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 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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