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‘10 Most Wanted’ offender sentenced to 21 years for firearm offense under Project Guardian

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A felon formerly on Texas’ 10 Most Wanted list has been sentenced to more than 21 years in federal prison on a federal firearms charge, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.

“A convicted domestic violence, drug, and violent crime offender, this defendant should never have had his hands on a gun,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “This case sends a message to armed criminals: When you’re a three-time offender, unlawful possession can lead to decades behind bars.”

“Mr. Travis is a confirmed gang member with a history of drug, firearm and violent offenses spanning more than 20 years,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek II. “My hope is the victims of his crimes find some solace his next 20 years will be spent behind bars.”

Terrol DeBaun Travis, 43, pleaded guilty in November 2019 to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Mr. Travis was sentenced Friday to 262 months in federal prison by Senior U.S. District Judge John H. McBryde. He received a sentence enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act, which raises the maximum penalty for offenders with three previous convictions for a violent felony or serious drug offense.

According to plea papers, law enforcement officers observed Mr. Travis carrying a Ruger 9 mm handgun when attempting to effect his arrest at his residence in Fort Worth in July 2019.

The defendant – who was a fugitive with outstanding warrants for violating his parole – dropped the gun on his doorstep while attempting to flee. Moments later, he was apprehended about 10 feet from his front door. Agents later determined the pistol, which was loaded with a high-capacity magazine, was stolen.

A known member of the Crips street gang, Mr. Travis was convicted in 1995 and 2004 of felony possession with intent to deliver cocaine; in 2004 of arson; in 2014 of felony domestic violence; and in 2014 of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in relation to a drug dispute.

“You seem to have an affinity for engaging in criminal conduct with a firearm,” Judge McBryde said at Friday’s sentencing hearing. “That is a disturbing fact because it shows a propensity for violence.”

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division; the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force; the Fort Worth Police Department’s Fugitive Unit, and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank Gatto and Levi Thomas prosecuted the case.

The prosecution was brought under Project Guardian, the Justice Department’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence using federal firearm laws. The case is also part of the U.S. Attorney’s Domestic Violence Initiative, a push to fight domestic violence using federal firearm laws, which prohibits convicted abusers from possessing guns.  

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