Montgomery, Alabama – Today, U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Stewart announced that Hyram Franklin Patton, a 38-year-old man from Opelika, Alabama, was sentenced to 57 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. In addition to his prison sentence, Patton was ordered to serve three years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
According to court records, on January 26, 2019, an Alabama State Trooper was patrolling Hwy. 51 in Opelika when he observed a black Ford Mustang cross the centerline and initiated a traffic stop. When the Trooper approached the vehicle, he made contact with the female driver and asked her to step out of the car to check for impairment, she complied. The Trooper observed a man in the in the passenger seat and when he attempted to identify him, the man gave conflicting information about his name. During this process, the Trooper noticed that the passenger was reaching around behind the seat in a suspicious manner and asked for him to exit the vehicle in case he might be reaching for a weapon. The vehicle was then searched and a 9mm handgun was found in the pocket on the back of the seat. The Trooper was finally able to positively identify the passenger as Hyram Franklin Patton, who had an outstanding felony warrant out of Macon County. Patton eventually admitted the gun belonged to him. Patton also has previous felony convictions and is prohibited from possessing firearms. Patton was arrested on the scene and the driver was issued a traffic citation and released.
Patton was indicted by a federal grand jury for being a felon in possession of a firearm on January 15, 2021. He pleaded guilty to that charge on May 4, 2021 and was sentenced on February 25, 2022.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Brandon Bates prosecuted the case.