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Port Arthur felon caught with gun during traffic stop sentenced Thursday to jail time

BEAUMONT — A Port Arthur man caught with a gun during a traffic stop was sentenced this week to more than two years in jail for it – the result of a federal program targeting the “most pressing violent crime problems in the community.”

Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei made the announcement saying Lorenzo Antonio Salinas pleaded guilty April 6 to being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm and was sentenced Thursday to 27 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield.

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.

PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them, Ganjei said.

“Violent criminals like Lorenzo Salinas cannot be allowed to possess firearms,” he said. “My office will never stop focusing our efforts on keeping Southeast Texas safe by aggressively prosecuting violations of federal firearms laws.”

According to information presented in court, on March 6, 2020, Salinas, 33, was the passenger of a vehicle that was stopped for a traffic violation.

The driver gave consent to search the vehicle, during which time law enforcement officers discovered a pistol under the passenger seat.

Salinas admitted the pistol was his and he was a convicted felon.

Further investigation revealed Salinas had been convicted of aggravated robbery in Jefferson County in 2007. As such, he is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition.

Salinas was indicted by a federal grand jury Feb. 22.

The Port Arthur Police Department investigated this case, along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.