Acting United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that Drake L. Banks, Sr., age 30, of St. Louis, Missouri, was sentenced today to a 48-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, following his conviction for being an unlawful user of controlled substances in possession of a firearm. There is no parole in the federal system. Chief United States District Judge John M. Gerrard presided over this case, including the trial and sentencing.
A federal jury in Lincoln, Nebraska, returned a guilty verdict against Banks on March 3, 2021. The evidence at trial established that Banks and Zachary R. Macomber, age 29, of Annapolis, Missouri, were traveling eastbound on Interstate 80 a few miles west of Lincoln on September 19, 2019. They passed a police officer, who proceeded to stop them for following another vehicle too closely and cutting off a semi-truck. The officer soon discovered that there was marijuana inside the vehicle. Banks and Macomber were seated in the back of the patrol vehicle while the officer conducted a search of the vehicle. Methamphetamine, marijuana, and evidence of marijuana use were found in the front seats of the rental vehicle. In the trunk of the vehicle, the officer found the seven firearms listed below, numerous magazines for the firearms, and ammunition. Two of the Glock handguns were found to be loaded at the time of the traffic stop. The firearms included:
- a Palmetto State Armory PA-15, multi caliber pistol,
- a Kel-Tec PLR-16, 5.56 mm caliber pistol,
- a AA Arms AP9, 9 mm caliber pistol,
- a Glock 19, 9 mm caliber pistol,
- a Glock 22, .40 caliber pistol,
- a Glock 17, 9 mm caliber pistol, and
- a Glock 21, .45 caliber pistol.
While seated in the back of the patrol car, and while the officer was searching the rental car, the two defendants made considerable efforts to escape, including kicking the center divider and opening a sliding door on the center divider. At one point, Banks was heard asking Macomber something to the effect of ‘if he had one on him?’ At an earlier hearing, the officer testified that he understood Banks to be asking Macomber if Macomber was carrying a firearm.
Macomber pleaded guilty on August 6, 2020, to being a felon in possession of firearms. On November 6, 2020, he was sentenced by Chief Judge Gerrard to serve a 52-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release.
This case was investigated by the Lincoln Police Department, the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This case was part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
District of Nebraska