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New Orleans man pleads guilty to a firearm violation

NEW ORLEANS– U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, Christopher Arana, age 27, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana plead guilty in a one-count Indictment charging him with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2).

On August 20, 2020, New Orleans Police Department (“NOPD”) officers were dispatched to a call for service regarding an aggravated battery by shooting in the 1700 block of Eagle Street, New Orleans, Louisiana.   The responding NOPD officer was informed that Arana sustained a gunshot wound to his abdominal area and was transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.

The responding officer requested that Real Time Crime Cameras located in the immediate vicinity of the corner store be reviewed to learn what happened during the shooting.  While reviewing the camera footage, the officer observed Arana arrive at the intersection of Eagle Street and Hickory Street on a bike and stand near the entrance of the store.  While standing near the door, Arana was utilizing his cellular telephone. Arana observed a vehicle approaching him.  The occupants of the vehicle, armed with firearms, began to discharge their firearms at Arana.  Arana retrieved a fully concealed black semiautomatic handgun from his waistband area during the shooting but did not discharge his firearm.  After the shooting, Arana relocated inside the corner store and discarded the firearm to hide firearm from law enforcement.

After the shooting, a store employee recovered the firearm possessed by Arana, a black Smith and Wesson, model SD40 VE, .40 caliber PISTOL.  The firearm contained ten live rounds, one in the chamber, and nine in the magazine.

Arana is a convicted felon and is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.

Arana faces a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, a fine up to $250,000 a period of supervised release up to 3 years, and a mandatory special assessment fee of $100.

United States District Court Judge Jane Triche Milazzo will sentence Arana on November 24, 2021.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case was investigated by the New Orleans Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brittany Reed of the Violent Crime/Strike Force Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.