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Traffic stop costs Port Arthur man federal prison sentence this week

A local traffic stop led to a Port Arthur man’s sentence to two years in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

Demarcus Dewayne Elam, 23, was sentenced Tuesday to 24 months in federal prison after pleading guilty March 2 to receipt of a firearm while under indictment.

U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone passed the sentence.

“Those under a felony drug indictment have no business possessing a firearm, particularly a stolen one,” Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei said. “Thanks to the great work of ATF and the Port Arthur Police Department, Jefferson County is a little bit safer.”

According to information presented in court, on May 3, 2020, Elam was pulled over in Port Arthur for a traffic violation. During the traffic stop, the law enforcement officer conducting the stop learned Elam was wanted on outstanding warrants.

Elam was arrested on those outstanding warrants and the officer began to search Elam incident to arrest. Elam informed the officer he had a firearm in his pocket.

The officer retrieved the firearm and learned from dispatch the firearm had been reported stolen in Beaumont. Further investigation revealed that on Sep. 24, 2018, Elam had been placed on four years of deferred probation for a felony drug charge.

Based on the deferred adjudication, Elam is considered to be under indictment and prohibited from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition.

The Port Arthur Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Quinn prosecuted.