MINNEAPOLIS — Earlier today in federal court, a 25–year–old career criminal was sentenced for possessing a .38–caliber revolver. United States District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery sentenced Lewis Pate, no known address, to 200 months in prison on one count of possession of a firearm by a career criminal. Pate was indicted on May 8, 2012, and was convicted on August 15, 2012.
The evidence presented at trial proved that on March 20, 2012, St. Paul police were called to the 980 block of Reaney Avenue at approximately 2:30 p.m., following a report of shots fired. Witnesses claimed three men had exchanged gunfire in a nearby alley. A police canine tracked the scent of one of the reported suspects to a house in the 970 block of Margaret Avenue. There, police found Pate inside. During the execution of a search warrant at the house, police also found a six–shot revolver with four live rounds. It was in the bathroom clothes hamper, wrapped in a towel.
Because he is a felon, Pate is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm at any time. His prior Ramsey County convictions include auto theft and fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle (2007) and auto theft and fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle (2008). Pate was also convicted in Hennepin County for third–degree burglary in 2008 and Dakota County for aggravated robbery in 2010.
Since those offenses constitute crimes of violence, Pate was subject to the federal Armed Career Criminal Act. That act mandates a minimum of 15 years in prison for anyone convicted in federal court of being a felon in possession of a firearm if that person also has at least three prior state or federal convictions for crimes of violence or serious drug crimes.
This case was the result of an investigation by the St. Paul Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey S. Paulsen.