A Minden man convicted of burning a cross near a biracial couple’s home will spend more time in prison after police investigating a domestic abuse case found him with a gun.
A federal judge on Thursday sentenced Jeremy Moro to 21 months in prison on one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Shreveport announced.
Moro pleaded guilty on Dec. 1.
U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote also sentenced the 40-year-old to three years of supervised release.
Minden police were investigating "a domestic abuse issue" on Sept. 8, 2016, when they found Moro with a revolver, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook’s office:
After responding to the complaint, police found Moro laying on his couch with a Taurus Model: The Judge 45 caliber five-shot revolver in the waistband of his pants. He was previously convicted of a felony for his role in a cross-burning in October 2008 in Louisiana.
Jeremy Moro and his cousin, Joshua Moro, pleaded guilty in 2011 and were sentenced to 12 months and a day in prison for violating the civil rights of an interracial couple, according to another press release from the time .
A jury also convicted their cousin, Daniel Danforth, for "organizing, carrying out and attempting to carry out" the cross-burning."
A fourth person, Sonya Marie Hart, pleaded guilty to withholding information from the FBI on the others’ attempts to cover up the 2008 cross-burning.
The Moros and Danforth admitted to building, erecting and burning the cross, where their cousin lived with "her African American boyfriend (now husband), her 11-year-old son, and their grandmother who was believed to approve of the cousin’s interracial relationship."
According to the guilty plea, Danforth "was upset about the presence of the African American man living with their cousin."
Evidence during Danforth’s trial in January 2010 showed that in the days following the cross-burning, Danforth, Jeremy Moro, and Sonya Hart agreed to remove the burned cross when they learned that the FBI was going to investigate the matter. With Jeremy Moro’s and Hart’s assistance, Danforth removed the cross, disassembled it and hid it in the woods. The evidence also showed that Joshua Moro, Jeremy Moro and Sonya Hart lied to the FBI and a federal grand jury during the investigation into the cross-burning.
The ATF, FBI, Webster Parish Coroner’s Office and Minden Police Department conducted the firearm investigation against Jeremy Moro, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary J. Mudrick prosecuted the case.
The case was brought under the federal justice initiative called Project Safe Neighborhoods.
In October, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed U.S. Attorneys "to implement an enhanced violent crime reduction program that incorporates the lessons learned since Project Safe Neighborhoods launched in 2001."