Earlier this week a 35-year-old felon from Maplewood pleaded guilty in federal court to possessing a loaded .32-caliber revolver.
Derek Lee Preston pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Preston, who was indicted on April 12, 2011, entered his plea before United States District Court Judge Donovan W. Frank.
In his plea agreement, Preston admitted that on January 25, 2011, he possessed the weapon while a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by Minneapolis Police. Preston was asked to exit the vehicle, and officers found the weapon while searching him. In addition, officers recovered 7.5 grams of marijuana and nearly four grams of cocaine.
Because he is a felon, Preston is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time.
Preston’s prior convictions include unlawful possession of a pistol in 1997, attempted first-degree aggravated robbery in 1997, fifth-degree controlled substance crimes in 1999 and 2009, a second-degree controlled substance crime in 2001, terroristic threats in 2005, violation of a no-contact order in 2009, attempted violation of a no-contact order in 2009 and domestic assault in 2010.
Since at least three of these convictions are considered crimes of violence or serious drug offenses, Preston will be subject to the Armed Career Criminal Act in the current federal case. The act mandates a minimum of 15 years in prison for anyone convicted in federal court for being a felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition if they have three or more prior violent crime or serious drug convictions.
Preston's sentence will be determined at a future hearing.