Memphis Rapper's Bodyguard Arrested In Connection With Little Rock Club Shooting

(DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE RELEASE) - Patrick C. Harris, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Jeffrey B. Reed, Resident Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), and Kenton Buckner, Chief of Little Rock Police Department (LRPD), announced today the arrest of Kentrell Dominique Gwynn, 25, of, Memphis, in connection with shootings in Forrest City and Little Rock, Arkansas. The arrest of Gwynn, who served as rapper Ricky Hampton’s bodyguard, marks the first charges filed in connection with the mass shooting at the Power Ultra Lounge in Little Rock.

ATF agents and LRPD officers arrested Gwynn on a federal complaint early Tuesday morning in Memphis. Gwynn pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon in Little Rock before United States Magistrate Judge Jerome Kearney to multiple firearms-related charges. According to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday, Gwynn is charged with providing a firearm to convicted felon or an unlawful user of a controlled substance, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(1) and (3), providing armed security to a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(h)(1) and (2), and conspiracy to commit those crimes, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371.

Also on Tuesday, Hampton, 25, of Memphis, who goes by the stage name “Finese2Tymes,” appeared before Judge Kearney on a federal indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1). Hampton was originally charged in a criminal complaint alleging the same charge on July 3, 2017. The indictment is connected to a shooting that occurred at Club Envy in Forrest City on June 25, 2017. Hampton was also on stage at Power Ultra Lounge in Little Rock in the early-morning hours on July 1, 2017, when 25 people were shot. A shell casing found at the scene of the Power Ultra Lounge shooting has been preliminarily matched to a firearm in Gwynn’s possession on July 2, the date Hampton was arrested.

“With gun violence continuing to rise in our communities, the United States Attorney’s office is firmly committed to removing these criminals from the streets as quickly as possible,” Harris said. “The shooting at Power Ultra Lounge was a horrific event that no community should have to experience. As the investigation into the events of that night continues, people associated with the shooting, including Kentrell Gwynn, will be brought to justice.”

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Little Rock Field Office and the Little Rock Police Department in conjunction with ATF Memphis Field Office arrested Kentrell Gwynn on Federal firearms charges associated with the mass shooting at the Power Ultra Lounge located in Little Rock, Arkansas and the shooting incident that transpired in Forrest City, Arkansas,” ATF RAC Reed said. “This is in keeping with ATF’s continued efforts to bring alleged armed violent offenders to justice. ATF remains committed to its law enforcement partners and the citizens of Arkansas in these endeavors.”

“The collective efforts between the Little Rock Police Department and our federal partners led to the arrest of a dangerous criminal and another illustration of the benefit of state, local and federal agencies working together to get these individuals off the street,” LRPD Chief Buckner said. “By no means does this arrest signal the end of the investigation into the shooting at Power Ultra Lounge, but rather it demonstrates our commitment to bringing those involved to justice whenever possible.”

Tuesday’s complaint alleges that Gwynn was with Hampton on July 2, 2017, when Hampton was arrested in Birmingham, Alabama, on state felony charges related to the Forrest City shooting. Gwynn, who was driving a vehicle with Hampton as a passenger, was wearing a Springfield XD, .40-caliber pistol in a thigh holster. The firearm was loaded with nine rounds of Sig Sauer .40-caliber ammunition.

Also on the seat with Gwynn was a Glock 23, .40-caliber pistol. In the backseat was a loaded Century Arms RAS47, 7.62 x 39 mm, AK-style pistol, similar to the one seen in videos of the Forrest City shooting. Gwynn claimed ownership of all three firearms. Gwynn also told investigators that he was Hampton’s bodyguard, and was with him on stage at the Power Ultra Lounge concert during the shooting.

Investigators determined that Gwynn purchased the Century Arms pistol on May 26, 2017, in Memphis. A pawn ticket in the vehicle showed that Gwynn purchased the Glock 23 in Memphis on July 1, 2017. Both firearms were purchased at the American Loan Company, a Federal Firearms Licensee in Memphis. According to the complaint affidavit, investigators viewed security footage from American Loan Company. The video showed Hampton and Gwynn enter the gun store and pick out a firearm. Gwynn completed the paperwork on the firearm while Hampton stood close to him. Hampton can be seen leaning close into Gwynn and saying something to him as Gwynn counts out money for the purchase of the Glock 23 and .40-caliber ammunition.

Additionally, investigators viewed multiple Facebook posts of Hampton in possession of a firearm consistent in appearance with the Century Arms pistol, purchased by Gwynn. When he was arrested on July 2, Hampton stated that during the Forrest City shooting he “pulled out the Draco,” referring to the AK-style pistol purchased by Gwynn, but did not shoot it.

According to the complaint, spent .40-caliber Sig Sauer brand casings were recovered from the stage of Power Ultra Lounge after the shooting on July 1. An Arkansas State Crime Lab Firearm and Toolmark examiner has since examined shell casings fired from the Springfield XD 40, .40-caliber pistol recovered from Gwynn on July 2, as well as a spent .40-caliber round recovered from the Power Ultra Lounge shooting in Little Rock. It was determined that there is a preliminary match of the shell casings.

The penalties for providing a firearm to convicted felon or an unlawful user of a controlled substance, providing armed security to a convicted felon, or being a felon in possession of a firearm is not more than 10 years’ imprisonment, not more than three years supervised release, and not more than a $250,000. The penalties for federal conspiracy is not more than five years’ imprisonment, not more than three years supervised release, and not more than a $250,000 fine.

 

The Hampton and Gwynn cases are being prosecuted by Angela Jegley and Chris Givens. A complaint or indictment contain only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


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