MINNEAPOLIS — Earlier today in federal court, a 34–year–old Minneapolis felon was sentenced for possessing a .32–caliber pistol. United States District Court Judge Joan N. Ericksen sentenced Bryant Duane Griffin to 240 months in prison on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Griffin was indicted on May 15, 2012, and was convicted on September 14, 2012.
The evidence presented at trial proved that on March 25, 2012, Griffin possessed the gun while on a Metro Transit bus. On that date, police received a call at approximately 1:00 a.m. The caller reported that a man with a gun was riding a city bus. Officers located the bus and the man. He was later identified as Griffin. They found the gun under a seat in front of him.
Because he is a felon, Griffin is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm at any time. His prior Hennepin County convictions include fifth–degree possession of a controlled substance (1999) and attempted terroristic threats (2001). In addition, he was convicted of second–degree sale of a controlled substance in Stearns County (2008) and third–degree sale of a controlled substance in Benton County (2008). Since three of those prior offenses were crimes of violence or major drug crimes, Griffin was subject to the federal Armed Career Criminal Act. That act mandates a minimum of 15 years in federal prison. Since the federal criminal justice system does not have parole, Griffin will serve virtually his entire sentence behind bars.
This case was the result of an investigation by the Brooklyn Park Police Department, the Metro Transit Police Department, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John E. Kokkinen, Kimberly A. Svendsen, and Surya Saxena.