Gang member sentenced for shooting in public housing

Staff Reports • Updated Jan 17, 2014 at 2:05 PM

NASHVILLE – Gerald Edwin Farmer, aka H.K., 24, of Nashville, was sentenced Friday to 17 ½ years in prison, according to David Rivera, U. S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Farmer, a Rollin’ 40s Crips street gang member, pleaded guilty in June to being a felon in possession of ammunition, which he used to shoot another person in the densely populated James Cayce public housing development in Nashville in November 2011.  At that time, Farmer was on state probation for several offenses, including an incident in which he shot at two other people. U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell ordered the federal sentence to run consecutively to a four-year state sentence for the previous shooting incident.

“This sentence represents another case where we are working with our law enforcement partners to remove career criminals from our neighborhoods for long periods of time,” said Rivera. “Farmer’s actions displayed a complete disregard for innocent life when he chose to fire several rounds in a densely populated area near houses, which were likely occupied by children and other innocent victims.  When an individual resorts to this type of violence, a swift and appropriate response from the law enforcement community can be expected.”

According to the facts presented at the guilty plea hearing, Farmer fired several shots at an individual in the housing development near South 7th Street and Shelby Avenue in Nashville.  The victim was struck multiple times and subsequently hospitalized for several weeks. Farmer fled the area, but when later arrested, he admitted he was at the scene of the shooting. Farmer falsely claimed a specific juvenile had been with him and the juvenile was actually the shooter.

The subsequent investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, established the juvenile was not even at the scene and Farmer was the actual shooter.  The firearm Farmer used to shoot the victim was not recovered, but he was successfully prosecuted for possession of the ammunition used in the shooting. 

“This joint investigation between ATF and the Metro Nashville Police Department illustrates the impact on reducing violent crime when agencies combine and coordinate their skills and resources,” ATF Special Agent in Charge Jeff Fulton said. “ATF remains dedicated to identifying, targeting, and investigating violent criminals who prey upon our citizens and lessen the quality of life in our neighborhoods.  This investigation is an example of excellent investigative work and a job well done by the investigators.”

Farmer’s previous convictions included aggravated burglary, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, aggravated assault and drug distribution, which qualified him as an armed career criminal under federal law. Campbell rejected Farmer’s request for concurrent sentencing with his state offenses, finding that Farmer had a history of violent criminal conduct and that this offense “nearly resulted in death.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department conducted the investigation. Deputy Criminal Chief Harold McDonough and Assistant U.S. attorney Sunny A.M. Koshy represented the United States.

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