A 29-year old Louisville man who threatened to shoot police officers during a livestream on Facebook is now facing federal felon-in-possession charges for illegally possessing a handgun.
Cortez Edwards was seen on the social media platform on September 23rd displaying an AR-style pistol and offering to shoot police officers who were outside of his home investigating a nearby disturbance if someone paid him $30,000.
“Louisville needs healing and safety for its citizens, not armed felons seeking bids to shoot police,” said Coleman. “Federal law enforcement here will continue to respond as one to swiftly mitigate threats to our city.”
When agents served a search on Edwards’ home on Sunday, they didn’t find the AR-style pistol that was seen during the livestream, but they did turn up a Glock 19 handgun.
This is actually the second time in two years that the 29-year old has faced charges for illegally possessing a firearm. Back in February of 2019 Edwards was charged with a lengthy number of felony drug and gun-related offenses, including two counts of enhancement trafficking in controlled substance in first degree, enhancement trafficking in controlled substance in third degree, enhancement trafficking in marijuana in first degree, three counts of enhancement possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and complicity to possession of firearm by a convicted felon.
Why wasn’t Edwards in prison on those charges instead of in his home waving around a gun that he’s not legally allowed to own? Unfortunately, we don’t have any details yet as to the 2019 charges and why Edwards wasn’t behind bars for the serious offenses. It’s possible that the suspect’s case hasn’t yet gone to trial even though it’s been more than a year since his first arrest, but it’s also entirely plausible that Edwards was offered some sort of plea deal or that prosecutors suspended prosecution for some reason.
Regardless of his previous criminal history, the current charges could land Edwards in a federal prison for a decade, and he’ll have to serve at least 85% of his sentence before he’s eligible for release.
The federal charges against Cortez Edwards comes as Donald Trump’s Department of Justice is seeking to crack down on violent criminals in cities beset by violence. Also on Monday, the U.S. Attorney in Cincinnati announced that 16 convicted felons in the city will be facing federal charges for illegally possessing a firearm as part of the DOJ’s Operation LeGend, a coordinated effort targeting violent offenders across the country. From July through early September nearly 500 suspects have been charged with federal crimes, even as some Democrats have criticized the operation as an election year stunt on the part of the Trump administration.
I don’t think too many people would classify the arrest of Cortez Edwards as a stunt. If nothing else, it should be a warning to other convicted criminals that it’s a truly terrible idea to threaten the lives of law enforcement officers while holding a gun you’re no longer allowed to possess.