BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A Birmingham man was sentenced to more than three years in jail on a firearm charge Tuesday.
According to U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona, 21-year-old Deontra Lamar Austin was sentenced to 42 months in jail followed by 36 months of supervised release for the charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Austin, a convicted felon, was arrested by Birmingham detectives on February 11 in connection to a burglary and parole violation. Upon arrest, officers found a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun in Austin’s waistband.
Escalona said Austin is linked to the Hard 2 Kill gang, also known as H2K. Escalona claims the gang operates in the Birmingham area, has been investigated by ATF, and is known to be involved with acts of violence and drug distribution.
The case was part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, an aspect of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.
“Street gangs are responsible for much of the violent crime in Birmingham,” said U.S. Attorney Escalona. “To reduce the senseless deaths and injuries from gun violence, our law enforcement partners seek to identify the most violent offenders and use every available means to take them off the street. Prosecution of felons with guns is a very effective way to reduce the violence that plagues our communities.”
“The ATF prides itself in working with our state, local, and federal partners to take firearms out of the hands of individuals who knowingly and illegally possess them. In most cases, firearms are obtained illegally by gang members and passed around until they are recovered in some type of unfortunate criminal incident. The hard work and collaborative efforts that the ATF and our law enforcement partners demonstrate on a daily basis allows us to successfully combat crime in and around the Birmingham area,” said ATF SAC Mickey French.