Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

April 23, 2013

Case gets armed with federal charge

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — Adding to a series of criminal allegations he already faces here a Pauls Valley man is now back in custody on a federal charge.

Arrested in downtown PV late last week John Ervin Titley, 47, is now essentially accused under federal law of being an armed career criminal.

Titley was arrested on April 18 on a federal warrant issued in U.S. District Court. It followed a sealed indictment earlier in the week for a federal offense of felon in possession of firearm and ammunition, resulting from Titley’s arrest back in early January by sheriff’s deputies.

The indictment alleges Titley possessed a firearm after being convicted on felony crimes dating back to 1986.

Because the indictment alleges that Titley is an armed career criminal under federal law, if convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.

“With federal charges there’s a lot stronger penalty if found guilty,” Sheriff Larry Rhodes said.

“He had multiple felony convictions so he certainly fit the Armed Career Criminal Act,” he said.

“This is the federal version of three strikes and you’re out.”

This case is the result of an investigation by the Garvin County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The Armed Career Criminal Act is a United States federal law that provides sentence enhancements for felons who commit crimes with firearms, if convicted of certain crimes three or more times.

Titley is accused of having various amounts of methamphetamine and marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a total of four guns at the time of his arrest on Jan. 3 in the 100 block of West Lee in Pauls Valley.

Three of the four firearms were found to be stolen from the PV area.

Titley’s residence is also located next to a licensed daycare facility and a short distance from Jackson Elementary School.

After Titley’s arrest and state charges filed a few days later in Garvin County District Court, Rhodes said he contacted officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives because he believed Titley had violated the career criminal act.

At the time of the federal indictment, Titley was out of jail after posting a $50,000 bond on the state charges.

Titley has numerous felony convictions across the United States which includes a prior Garvin County drug possession charge. He was on a district attorney’s probation at the time of his January arrest.

U.S. marshals took custody of Titley last Friday.