SYLACAUGA -- A Sylacauga man was sentenced to serve 10 years in federal prison Thursday after being convicted by a jury of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of 12 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Northern District of Alabama.
Damon Eugene Oden, 40, was convicted in June. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor. The case was worked by Sylacauga police and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The release goes on to say, “On May 8, 2017, Sylacauga police were patrolling an area of the city that had been experiencing vehicle break-ins when they saw Oden enter some woods on a bicycle.
“The officers, including Sylacauga police Chief Kelley Johnson, stopped Oden as he came out on the other side of the woods. As the officers approached Oden, they saw a gun in his pants pocket, which they prevented him from grabbing and then recovered.
“Oden was holding a plastic bag containing methamphetamine and had other bags containing methamphetamine in a pouch on his belt. He wore the backpack that held the scales.”
He was previously convicted of felony unlawful possession of a controlled substance in January 2011 in Coosa County Circuit Court. He was arrested on a charge of drug possession in Talladega County in 2016, but it was not immediately clear how that case had been disposed of.
“A convicted felon carrying drugs and a gun can only mean harm to the community. A federal jury convicted the defendant of federal crimes, so the sentence he received today is the sentence he will serve in full in federal prison, ”U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town said.
ATF Special Agent Marcus Watson added, “This case is a good example of our law enforcement partners working with ATF’s crime gun intelligence, focused on areas where firearms are fueling violence and endangering the safety of those communities.”
Assistant U.S. Attorneys John B. Felton and John Geer prosecuted the case.