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United States v. Hawkins

United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division

May 31, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
WARREN KELLY HAWKINS Defendant

          ORDER

          KATHERINE P. NELSON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant Warren Kelly Hawkins' (“Hawkins”) Motion for Release of Firearms. (Doc. 31). Per Hawkins' motion,

On September 15, 2017, Warren Kelly Hawkins pled guilty to a single count of felon-in possession of firearms. Doc. Nos. 19, 21. On December 28, 2017, he was sentenced by this Court to three years of probation. Doc. No. 29. There was no forfeiture proceeding or Order of Forfeiture entered in this case. The firearms, 39 in number, were mostly hunting firearms and family heirlooms that belonged to Hawkins's grandfather, who passed away. The firearms seized from Hawkins's residence by law enforcement still are in the possession of federal law enforcement.

(Doc. 31 at 1, ¶ 1). Defendant Warren Kelly Hawkins has moved for an order directing the United States to release 39 certain firearms to his stepson, James Edward Thomas, IV (“Thomas”). (Doc. 31 at 2, ¶3).

         On April 12, 2018, the undersigned held a hearing. Hawkins' counsel, Latisha Colvin, Assistant United States Attorney Michele O'Brien, and proposed custodian Thomas were present. Thomas was questioned under oath, and affirmed that he would not permit Hawkins to exert any possession or control over the firearms at issue. He was also cautioned as to Hawkins' restrictions regarding firearms.

         Following the hearing, Hawkins' counsel filed a supplement to the motion, which contains a list of the seized firearms. (Doc. 43-1). The United States has responded to the list as follows:

1. The firearm evidence in this case, which is currently in the custody of the FBI has been reviewed by an FBI Evidence Control Technician to assure that the information previously provided in discovery, and included as Document 43-1 to Defendant's supplement, accurately describes each of the firearms. A correction is required to the serial number of the second listed shotgun, the correct description is Rossi, 3rd Model 20ga, S/N SP326966.
2. Additional research is still required to determine whether the initial five (5) firearms listed under the category, “Non-description Rifles/ Shotguns”, which have no serial numbers, can lawfully be released to the proposed transferee, or will require some other manner of disposition.
3. The undersigned has discussed this situation with Defense Counsel and the parties are in agreement, with the Court's approval, that the transfer pursuant to Henderson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 1780 (2015), of all the remaining listed firearms (Doc. 43-1) can go forward at this time. Upon completion of the necessary research on the status of the listed serial-numberless firearms, the parties will file another motion/notice with the Court.

(Doc. 47 at 1-2). Upon consideration, of the foregoing, the 34 firearms[1] now at issue are:

Rifles
Remington 5peedmaster .22 LR, Model 552, S/N C1406474
Rossi .22 LR, S/N G377619
Norinco 5K5, 7.62x39, S/N 1512683
Ruger M77, .243, S/N 770-16308
Winchester, Model70 .243, S/N ...

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