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Lafayette Felon Sentenced to Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing a Firearm

LAFAYETTE, La. United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced today that Jeremy C. Melancon, 36, of Lafayette, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert R. Summerhays to 27 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.  Melancon previously pleaded guilty on June 10, 2019. 

According to information presented in court, Lafayette police officers responded to a call on May 7, 2018, at Melancon’s home and neighbors informed them that Melancon had lost his temper and fired a gun into the ground.  Officers spoke to Melancon, who admitted to firing one shot into the ground.  Officers also spoke to Melancon’s wife, who said she owned certain firearms but secured them in a shed she owned on the property.  Officers found spent shell casings on the ground where Melancon admitted to firing the gun and determined that the guns belonging to Melancon’s wife did not match the shell casings.

The police officers left the scene, but on May 10, 2018, a neighbor who lives next door to Melancon, called police and reported that she had found a gun in her flowerbed.  An ATF forensic examination matched the Smith & Wesson, Model M&P Bodyguard, .380-caliber pistol that was found in the flowerbed with the shell casings found on the night of May 7, 2018.

Melancon is a convicted felon who pleaded guilty on October 27, 2005, to distribution of cocaine in the Louisiana 15th Judicial District Court.  He was sentenced to seven years of hard labor.  Under federal law, a felon is not allowed to possess a firearm or ammunition.

The ATF and Lafayette Police Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert C. Abendroth prosecuted the case. 

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  Project Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.