According to the information presented in court, on July 18, 2018, Memphis Police Department Officers stopped a 2000 GMC Yukon with a Mississippi license plate after the vehicle ran a stop sign. The tags of the vehicle were not on file as being registered to a 2000 GMC Yukon. The driver, Coleman, had a revoked driver’s license. He was asked to step out of the vehicle.
Officers smelled a strong odor of marijuana, conducted a search of the vehicle and located a clear bag with a green leafy substance in the center console, as well as a small black handgun and almost $3000 in currency. The substance was later determined to be marijuana, with a gross weight of 10.5 grams. Coleman admitted to the officers that he knew he had a suspended license, and had just smoked marijuana. The gun found was a Taurus TCP .380 caliber handgun with 4 live rounds.
Further investigation revealed Coleman was convicted of a felony drug offense in Shelby County Criminal Court on December 9, 2011.
Sentencing will be held before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas L. Parker on November 10, 2020, where Coleman faces a possible sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison. There is no parole in the federal system.
U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: “Prohibited persons in possession of firearms such as convicted felons and unlawful users of controlled substances present a known and immediate risk of violence to the community at large. In order to protect public safety and uphold the rule of law, we must remove firearms from the hands of prohibited persons and remove dangerous felons from our streets.”
This case was investigated by the Memphis Police Department and Project Safe Neighborhoods Task Force. The Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative is a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In 2017, PSN was reinvigorated as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel D. Winnig is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government. SAUSA Winnig is currently assigned from the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office for the purpose of prosecuting violent crimes and firearms offenses in federal court.