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ATF - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

01/20/2023 | Press release | Archived content

Illegal Possession of Firearms Sends Sulphur Man to Federal Prison

Illegal Possession of Firearms Sends Sulphur Man to Federal Prison

LAKE CHARLES, La. - Cornell Devon Shelton, 33, of Sulphur, Louisiana, was sentenced yesterday to 120 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, announced United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown. United States District Judge James D. Cain, Jr. conducted the sentencing hearing.

Shelton was charged in a bill of information with three counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and he pleaded guilty to those charges on September 20, 2022. According to evidence presented to the court, Shelton, who has prior felony convictions, was found to be in possession of three different firearms on three separate occasions. On June 23, 2020, law enforcement officers with the Sulphur Police Department observed Shelton in the parking lot of a local motel conducting what appeared to be a narcotics transaction next to a vehicle. When the officer approached Shelton, he discovered Shelton was wearing a holster in his waistband and found a Taurus 9mm handgun on top of the driver's seat of the vehicle which fit the holster he was wearing. The officer seized the firearm at that time.

On a second occasion on September 1, 2020, detectives with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office noticed an occupied vehicle at the Sulphur Truck Stop and Casino which was in violation of the mandated curfew following Hurricane Laura. Shelton was in the vehicle with two other passengers and had a Diamondback .308 rifle inside the vehicle. Further investigation by deputies revealed that the firearm had been reported stolen.

The third incident occurred on March 21, 2021, when a deputy with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle being driven by Shelton. Shelton gave his consent for the vehicle to be searched and the deputy found a Beretta 9mm pistol located between the driver's seat and console. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) test fired each firearm and determined each was a working firearm.

Shelton knew that as a convicted felon he was prohibited from possessing any firearm or ammunition. His prior convictions are for deadly conduct - discharging a firearm in direction of an individual (2013), possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute (2015), and possession of a controlled substance (2017).

The case was investigated by the ATF, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff's Office, and Sulphur Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney LaDonte A. Murphy.

New Orleans Field Division