ALEXANDRIA, La. – Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that Billy Ray Jones, Jr., 39, of Pineville, was sentenced by United States District Judge Dee D. Drell to 57 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release.
Jones pleaded guilty on May 18, 2021 to one count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. The charges stem from an incident in November 2019 when law enforcement officers from the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office and Lecompte Police Department began investigating a burglary at a Burger King in the Lecompte area. Information obtained by law enforcement led them to suspect that Jones, who was the boyfriend of the restaurant manager, committed the burglary. Officers obtained a search warrant for the residence where Jones was living. Upon execution of the warrant, officers found the burglar’s attire and mask in a bag in the master bedroom closet, along with a wallet with identification belonging to Jones. Also in the closet were six firearms and two homemade silencers.
While searching the residence, an adult and juvenile approached from the nearby woods wearing camouflage hunting attire and both had rifles with scopes. Not knowing the adult male was Jones, officers directed them away from the residence. When they learned it was Jones, the female in the residence called them back and he arrived without the rifle that he had been previously carrying. Jones initially denied that the firearms, burglar’s attire and mask in the closet belonged to him, and that he had been carrying the rifle previously. Another search warrant was obtained for the rifle that Jones had been carrying and it was found hidden in a nearby field under tree limbs and pine straw. Jones was interviewed again and admitted to committing the burglary at Burger King and that he had purchased the rifle with money obtained during the burglary, as well as the fact that he had control of the six firearms and silencers in the closet.
Jones has prior convictions for attempted possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (2018), illegal possession of stolen things (2018), and simple burglary (2008) and was prohibited from possessing any firearms.
The ATF, Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office and Lecompte Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl M. Campbell prosecuted the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), 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. PSN is 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. To learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods, go to www.justice.gov/psn.
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