Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that Dillon Merritt, 53, of Many, Louisiana, has been convicted by a federal jury in the Western District of Louisiana on firearms charges. United States District Judge Donald E. Walter presided over the trial.
After a full day of trial and evidence being introduced, a federal jury deliberated and found Merritt guilty yesterday on both counts in the indictment. Evidence introduced at trial revealed that law enforcement officers with the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office, learned that Merritt, who has several felony convictions, had firearms in his possession. On January 12, 2018, law enforcement officers arrested Merritt on a warrant based on his illegal possession of a firearm and on May 22, 2019, he was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Western District of Louisiana and charged with two counts of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Merritt has a lengthy criminal history, including felony convictions for cruelty to juveniles (2003), aggravated domestic battery (2010), and possession of methamphetamine (2015).
The defendant faces up to 20 years in prison for both counts and up to a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for August 5, 2021 at 11:00 a.m.
The ATF and Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cadesby B. Cooper and Earl M. Campbell prosecuted the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. PSN is part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.