Area man smokes weed, gets caught with gun

Published 12:08 am Saturday, January 25, 2020

BEAUMONT — A man’s obstructed license plate — and the drugs he just finished smoking — are ultimately going to cost him years in prison.

Desmond Deray Gatson, 41, was found guilty this week of being a felon in possession of a firearm following a two-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.

A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

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According to information presented in court, on Feb. 8, 2019, Gatson of Newton was stopped by Beaumont police on Lucas Road in Beaumont for having an obstructed license plate.

U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown said during the traffic stop, officers could smell marijuana and Gatson indicated he had just finished smoking marijuana. Gatson also admitted to having served prison time for a drug conviction.

A search of the vehicle revealed a handgun under the seat and marijuana in the center console. As a convicted felon, Gatson is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition.

Gatson’s trial concluded Wednesday. He was indicted Aug. 7 and charged with federal firearms violations.

Under the federal statute, Gatson faces up to 10 years in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative, aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, among other focuses.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Anderson and Rachel Grove handled the prosecution.