From Trussville Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM — A federal jury convicted a Calera man of possessing a firearm after previously being convicted of a felony on Tuesday. Acting U.S. Attorney Robert O. Posey and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Hyche announced the conviction today.
Following a two-day trial before U.S. District Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins, the jury convicted Vaughn Alexander Cropper, 28, of possessing a pistol after being convicted of a felony. Cropper elected to represent himself during the trial.
According to the evidence at trial, Birmingham police arrested Cropper in the early morning hours of Sept. 25, 2016, in the parking lot of the USA Economy Lodge on Crestwood Boulevard in Irondale. Officers were responding to a complaint of a disturbance involving a man with a gun.
The police, who were wearing body cameras, captured video of the defendant reaching into his pocket before officers seized the gun and placed him under arrest. Cropper, who has multiple drug-trafficking felonies, likely will qualify as an armed career criminal and face a minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Cropper is scheduled for sentencing July 25.
The ATF and Birmingham Police Department investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory R. Dimler prosecuted.