Joint Investigation with Tuscaloosa Police and ATF Agents Yields 7 Arrests
The Tuscaloosa Police Department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives worked together on an investigation that let to seven arrests on federal gun charges.
According to a Friday release from TPD, three of the seven arrests involved defendants who participated in straw purchases -- the illegal purchase of a firearm by one person who is buying the weapon for another person, especially someone not legally allowed to buy a firearm themselves.
Brothers Deon Detrail Hamler and Devon Demarcus Hamler were charged with conspiracy to illegally obtain a firearm. Additionally, Deon Hamler, 33, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and 24-year-old Devon Hamler was charged with making fictitious statements during the purchase of a handgun.
An investigation determined Devon Hamler purchased a handgun for Deon Hamler at a Tuscaloosa gun store on April 20, unlawfully stating he was purchasing the gun for his own use. Deon Hamler, a convicted felon, was barred from purchasing or possessing a firearm.
25-year-old Christopher Desean Briggins Brazzell is accused of making false statements while acquiring a firearm after investigators determined he purchased an assault-styled rifle for a convicted felon in January.
24-year-old Devante Stephens was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm after officers with TPD responded to the DCH parking lot on March 21 on reports of a man pulling on car doors. Stephens led police on a pursuit that ended in the back yard of a residence on 17th Street, where officers found a weapon in his vehicle.
38-year-old Darryl Lee Chandler was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm during a traffic stop on January 12 where officers located a pistol in his possession.
50-year-old Derris Devon Sledge was charged with begin felon in possession of a firearm after agents with the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force located a semi-automatic weapon and ammunition while executing a search warrant at his residence on January 8.
40-year-old Christopher Demondre Callaway was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm during a January 8 arrest after breaking into a woman's home, threatening her with a gun and running from police when were called to the scene by neighbors.
The cases were presented to a federal grand jury that returned indictments, and warrants have been served on each of the seven defendants.
The release stated the multi-agency investigations are part of TPD and the ATF’s ongoing efforts to reduce violent crime and gun violence in our community.
Top Stories from the Tuscaloosa Thread (8/8 - 8/15)