Felon Sentenced To Prison For Unlawful Possession Of A Firearm

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

RENO, Nev. – A Gardnerville, Nev., resident was sentenced on June 27 by Chief U.S. District Judge Miranda M. Du to 51 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for unlawful possession of a firearm.

Jay Loren Prater (41) pleaded guilty in March 2022 to one count of felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, Prater is a member of the Northern Riders, a California prison gang, and formerly a member of several disbanded motorcycle gangs in the region. On August 25, 2021, Douglas County deputies stopped Prater for a traffic violation. A law enforcement K9 alerted to the presence of narcotics in Prater’s car. Inside Prater’s car deputies found a fully loaded Glock 17, 9mm pistol in the center console, approximately 15 grams of methamphetamine, along with other drug paraphernalia indicative of distribution. Prater is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a prior felony conviction for voluntary manslaughter in San Joaquin County, California. He later admitted to carrying the firearm while selling methamphetamine.    

U.S. Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of Nevada, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kevin Adams for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Sheriff Daniel J. Coverley of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office made the announcement.

This case was investigated by members of the Regional Gang Task Force, comprised of investigators from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, as well as ATF and DEA. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andolyn Johnson prosecuted the case.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a nationwide program by the Department of Justice that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, the Department announced the reinvigoration of PSN. For more information about PSN, visit www.justice.gov/usao-nv.

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