Fayette County, Kentucky Man Sentenced to 48 Months for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

FRANKFORT, KY — The U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky is reporting that: A Lexington man, Cleotis Wade, 50, was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison on Tuesday, by U.S. District Judge Gregory VanTatenhove, for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to his plea agreement, on May 29, 2022, law enforcement encountered Wade after being dispatched to an apartment complex in Lexington.  According to a witness, a man matching Wade’s description had attempted to enter her apartment, then retrieved a firearm from his vehicle and fired one or more shots into the air.  Law enforcement located Wade outside the complex in a car, observed a firearm behind the passenger seat, and found a fired shell casing outside the driver side door.

Wade had multiple prior felony convictions in Fayette Circuit Court, including for heroin trafficking in 2014 and burglary in 2011.  As a convicted felon, Wade was prohibited from possessing a firearm.  

Wade pleaded guilty to the current charge in March 2023.

Under federal law, Wade must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence; and upon his release, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years. 

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Shawn Morrow, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, Louisville Field Division; and Chief Lawrence Weathers, Lexington Police Department, jointly announced the sentence.

The investigation was conducted by ATF and the Lexington Police Department.  The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cindy Rieker.

This case was prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities.  It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts.  In the Eastern District of Kentucky, U.S. Attorney Shier coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.



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