The following is a Press Release:
United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Bobby D. Hickman, 50, of Leesville, La., pled guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Hickman admitted his guilt to one count of a five-count indictment returned against him in September of 2011.
During the guilty plea hearing held in federal court in Lake Charles, La., before U.S. District Judge Richard Haik, Hickman agreed to the forfeiture of three weapons, including a sawed-off shotgun.
The documents filed during the plea and courtroom testimony established that Hickman was terminated as Chief of the Leesville Police Department on January 28, 2011, for failure to cooperate in an internal investigation by the City of Leesville. Thereafter, on March 9, 2011, the Acting Chief of the Leesville Police Department applied for and obtained a state search warrant for Hickman's residence to look for and recover departmental equipment issued to Hickman and not returned prior to his termination.
When the search warrant was executed by deputies of the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office, Hickman spontaneously retrieved a Charter Arms revolver from behind his bedroom television and stated the firearm belonged to the City of Leesville. Hickman pointed out that the serial number had been obliterated. Federal law prohibits the possession of firearms on which the manufacturer's or importer's serial numbers are altered or obliterated.
U.S. Attorney Finley stated, "The law prohibits anyone from possessing a firearm that has an obliterated (removed) serial number. This section of the statute requires that firearms have to possess a manufacturer's or importer's serial number in order to assist law enforcement in combating crime and keeping the firearms out of the hands of those who illegally possess them. Chief Hickman knew that and ignored the law; he now faces serious consequences. Our goal is to keep our communities safe. We will continue to partner with our state and local law enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with these laws."
At sentencing, Hickman faces a term of imprisonment up to a maximum of five years imprisonment, or a fine of not more than $250,000, or both, and a term of supervised release of up to three years following release from confinement. Hickman remains on pre-trial release pending his sentencing.