WACO, TX — A federal grand jury has indicted eight defendants with violations of unlawful possession of a firearm by a prohibited person who is either under indictment or a convicted felon.
The indictments are part of Project Guardian, an initiative by the Department of Justice to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.
Two of the indictments were related to domestic violence offenses.
One of those indictments involves 43-year-old Luis Emetrio Gonzalez of Belton. Belton police officers responded to a family disturbance call on February 8, 2020, and discovered Gonzalez was in possession of an AR-15 rifle and a .380 caliber pistol.
Gonzalez has three prior felony convictions for drug possession and burglary of a building dating back to 2007. He now faces up to 10 years in federal prison if convicted for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
The second indictment involves 37-year-old Robert Lewis Stephens, Jr. of Waco. On May 9, 2020, Waco PD officers responded to a domestic violence with a gun call and found Stephens in possession of a 9mm semiautomatic pistol.
Stephens was convicted in 2009 in McLennan County for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He also has two felony cocaine convictions in McLennan County, one in 2001 and one in 2009.
Stephens now faces up to 10 years in federal prison upon conviction of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
“Firearms in the hands of dangerous felons, domestic abusers and others who are prohibited from possessing them present a real danger to the law abiding members of our communities. If you are convicted of federal firearms offenses, you can expect to face serious prison time. This Office remains committed to aggressively enforcing federal firearms laws and bringing to justice those who would illegally purchase, traffic, transfer, possess or use these weapons,” stated U.S. Attorney Sofer.
Fifteen individuals have been indicted over the last seven days in the Western District of Texas with various firearms-related offenses under Project Guardian.
These cases are among approximately 350 pending illegal possession of firearms cases in the Western District of Texas.