Woman charged in federal court for admitting to owning gun and pot

LITTLE ROCK – A press release from Cody Hiland, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced Thursday the federal arrest of a woman who admitted under oath she possessed a pistol and cannabis.

Nicole Blakely, 39, of Little Rock, was announced as arrested on a federal complaint for being an “unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(3),” the release from Highland said. Blakely appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Joe J. Volpe Thursday afternoon and was detained following her initial appearance.

The release says Blakely’s boyfriend, Torroan Neal, was on a federal criminal trial last week. During that, Blakely is said to have testified to smoking pot in the house on the same day that law enforcement found a gun in the home. She was said to have testified the gun was hers.

Highland and Mary Downie, Acting Resident Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), announced Thursday that a federal charge was being brought against Blakely for being an unlawful drug use in possession of a firearm.

The full press release is available below.


LITTLE ROCK—Cody Hiland, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Mary Downie, Acting Resident Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), announced today’s arrest of Nicole Blakely, who admitted during a recent trial that she possessed firearms while using illegal drugs.

Blakely, 39, of Little Rock, was arrested on a federal complaint for being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(3). She appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Joe J. Volpe Thursday afternoon and was detained following her initial appearance.

Last week, during the federal criminal trial of Blakely’s boyfriend, Torrioan Neal, Blakely was called as a witness to testify on Neal’s behalf. The charges against Neal included possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Prior to her testimony, her lawyer informed the Court that he had advised her against testifying; she acknowledged that advice to the Judge, indicated that she understood the potential consequences, and insisted on testifying anyway.

According to the federal complaint charging her, Blakely then testified that she was a regular drug user and that she had purchased all the marijuana the police had found in her house. Blakely stated during the trial that the day law enforcement officers located marijuana and a gun in Neal and Blakely’s residence she had gotten off work at 7:00 a.m. When she arrived home, Blakely testified, she smoked marijuana. She also testified that she was the owner of a pistol the police found in the house.

The jury found that Neal was guilty of possessing the marijuana with the intent to distribute it, despite Blakely’s claims that the marijuana was hers alone. Neal now faces a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

The crime with which Blakely is charged is also punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. Assistant United States Attorney Kristin Bryant is prosecuting the case, which is being investigated by the ATF.

A complaint contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, is available on-line at http://www.justice.gov/edar

Twitter: @EDARNEWS

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