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Beaumont, Texas News

Convicted Felon from Orange, Texas Sentenced to Federal Prison for Firearms Violation

Michael Octavius Hampton, 51, a resident of Orange, Texas, has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for a firearms violation, as announced by U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs.

Hampton pleaded guilty on October 4, 2023, to being a felon in possession of a firearm. The sentencing was carried out by U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone on April 23, 2024.

According to court records, Hampton visited a pawn shop in Orange on June 26, 2023, where he attempted to purchase a pistol. Despite indicating on the required ATF Form 4473 that he had never been convicted of a felony, Hampton was known to the employees of the pawn shop as a frequent customer. The National Criminal Background Check System (NICS) flagged the transaction as pending further background checks, neither approving nor denying it. As required by law, the pawn shop did not transfer the firearm to Hampton at that time.

However, on July 3, 2023, Hampton returned to the pawn shop and picked up the firearm, despite the NICS check still being in a delayed status. Despite his previous declaration on the form, Hampton again certified that he had not been convicted of a felony. Further investigation revealed Hampton's previous conviction for murder in Jefferson County in 1995, making him prohibited by federal law from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition.

Hampton was subsequently arrested by federal agents at his home on July 26, 2023, and the firearm was recovered.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Quinn. It is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program aimed at reducing violent crime and gun violence by collaborating with law enforcement agencies and communities.

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