Orange man convicted of murder back in prison for weapons possession

Published 5:10 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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BEAUMONT — An Orange man, previously convicted of murder, was sentenced to nearly three years in jail after lying on paperwork about his criminal past to acquire a weapon from a local pawnshop.

U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs announced the result Tuesday, indicating U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone sentenced Michael Octavius Hampton to 33 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The 51-year-old pleaded guilty Oct. 4. According to information presented in court, Hampton visited a pawnshop in Orange June 26, where he was known by the employees as a frequent pawner of various items, such as tools.

Hampton requested to buy a pistol, provided his state-issued identification and completed the required ATF Form 4473. On the form, Hampton indicated he had never been convicted of a felony, a requirement to purchase a firearm.

Hampton then signed the form acknowledging the information was true. The pawnshop, which was not named in Diggs’ report, submitted the form through the National Criminal Background Check System and received a message indicating the transaction was neither approved nor denied and pending further background checks.

The pawnshop did not transfer the firearm to Hampton due to the delayed status, and Hampton left the store, according to Diggs.

Hampton came back to the pawnshop July 3 to pick up the firearm. The NICS check was still in delayed status; however, since the pawnshop waited the required three days without a denial, the firearm was transferred to Hampton, Diggs said.

Hampton again re-certified his answers on the ATF 4473 Form were correct — including that he had not been previously convicted of a felony — by signing the form a second time.

Hampton took possession of the firearm, which was captured on video by the pawnshop.

Investigation revealed Hampton was a convicted felon, having been convicted of murder in Jefferson County in 1995, and was prohibited by federal law from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition.

Federal agents arrested Hampton at his Orange home July 26, and the firearm was recovered.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Quinn prosecuted it.