Nearly two dozen felons charged with firearms violations, guns seized
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Local, state and federal agents announced a surge of arrests Friday after they confiscated dozens of guns.
Officials said the indictments are part of a strategy to reduce crime in neighborhoods across Kentucky. Four of the individuals are also connected to deadly shootings in Louisville.
Wyatt Williams, currently charged in the shooting death of 7-year-old DeQuante Hobbs, Jr. is one of the defendants.
"What happened to DeQuante is unlikely to happen in my neighborhood because I live in a safe neighborhood," United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman said. "My son's life's is not worth more than DeQuante Hobbs simply because of the neighborhood I live in."
Coleman said it is unacceptable that armed felons like Williams bring violence to families like the Hobbs family. Wyatt is facing several charges in state court, including murder.
The U.S. Attorney's Office involvement in the recent arrests means the federal court can apply heavier sentences. In the federal system there is the ability to apply the absence of parole as well as 15-year mandatory minimums for armed felons like Williams.
"At first I thought it was going to take a while for them to find anybody if anything," Priscilla Norment, Hobbs' grandmother, said. "I thought it was going to go a cold case at first."
Hobbs was killed last year while sitting in the kitchen of his home in the Russell neighborhood. He was eating a piece of cake when a stray bullet struck him.
"He was a happy little boy," Norment said. "He was always jumping around hugging me and telling me he loved me every day."
Norment said she finds strength to live through her loss from her faith in God and support from the community. Hearing of officers also cracking down on criminals living throughout the community gives her hope.
"Sometime I'll put my head down but the Lord says keep your head up," Norment said. "I hear keep your head up and that's what I am doing, keeping my head up."
Three others charged in the surge and connected to deadly shootings include Javier Rodriguez, Dwain Castle and Charles Cater. The men were previously charged with a drug-trafficking crime that led to the death of Vicente Rodriguez Ramirez, who was found shot in the parking lot next to Indi's Chicken on Poplar Level Road in January.
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