Acting United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that a federal jury in Lincoln, Nebraska, returned a guilty verdict today against Drake L. Banks, Sr., age 30, of St. Louis, Missouri, for possessing firearms while being an unlawful user of controlled substances. Today’s verdict subjects Banks to a potential prison term of up to ten years. Chief United States District Judge John M. Gerrard presided over the trial and set sentencing for June 4, 2021.
The evidence at trial established that Banks and Zachary R. Macomber, age 29, of Annapolis, Missouri, were traveling eastbound on Interstate 80 a few miles west of Lincoln on September 19, 2019. They passed a Lincoln Police Department officer, who proceeded to stop them for following another vehicle too closely and cutting off a semi-truck. The officer soon discovered that there was marijuana inside the vehicle. Banks and Macomber were seated in the back of patrol vehicle while the officer conducted a search of the vehicle. Methamphetamine, marijuana, and evidence of marijuana use were found in the front seats of the rental vehicle. In the trunk of the vehicle, the officer found the seven firearms listed below, numerous magazines for the firearms, and ammunition. Two of the Glock handguns were found to be loaded at the time of the traffic stop. The firearms included:
- a Palmetto State Armory PA-15, multi caliber pistol,
- a Kel-Tec PLR-16, 5.56 mm caliber pistol,
- a AA Arms AP9, 9 mm caliber pistol,
- a Glock 19, 9 mm caliber pistol,
- a Glock 22, .40 caliber pistol,
- a Glock 17, 9 mm caliber pistol, and
- a Glock 21, .45 caliber pistol.
While seated in the back of the patrol car, and while the officer was conducting a search of the rental car, the two defendants made considerable efforts to escape, including kicking the center divider and opening a sliding door on the center divider.
Macomber pleaded guilty on August 6, 2020, to being a felon in possession of firearms. On November 6, 2020, he was sentenced by Chief Judge Gerrard to serve a 52-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. (There is no parole in the federal system.)
Acting U.S. Attorney Sharp expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the Lincoln Police Department, the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for their outstanding efforts in the investigation and assistance during trial.