Feds name Power Lounge rapper's bodyguard in firearms charges; finds ammo match | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Feds name Power Lounge rapper's bodyguard in firearms charges; finds ammo match

Posted By on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 1:37 PM

ARREST MADE: Of bodyguard in club night of shooting. - .
  • ARREST MADE: Of bodyguard in club night of shooting..

  • Pulaski sheriff
Federal authorities today filed a criminal complaint against Kentrell Dominique  "Dirt" Gwynn with ties to the Power Ultra Lounge shooting that left 25 people wounded in downtown Little Rock.

According to the federal court docket, Gwynn faces potential charges of providing a firearm to a convicted felon, providing armed security to a convicted person and conspiracy. The charges don't specifically relate to the Little Rock shooting, but to an earlier club shooting. But preliminary review of evidence ties a gun Gwynn possessed to ammunition used in the Little Rock club shooting.

Gwynn has been described as a body guard of Ricky Hampton, the rapper known as Finese TwoTymes, who was performing early Saturday morning, July 1 when shooting broke out. Chaos followed as panicked club goers even tried to jump from second-floor windows of the Sixth Street club. Various confused accounts have emerged of the gunfire.

The criminal complaint was filed under seal until Gwynn was in custody, but he is now in custody and scheduled for a 3 p.m. hearing. I've just received the document.

No arrests had been made in the shooting previously. Hampton was arrested the next day after a club appearance in Birmingham on an outstanding warrant stemming from a club shooting in Forrest City. As a convicted felon, Hampton is prohibited from having a weapon. He's accused of firing a shot into a car at the Forrest City Club and has been returned to custody in Arkansas.

Gwynn, 25, was with Hampton when he was arrested in Alabama and also taken into custody. Federal officers recovered two handguns and an AK-47 from the Mercedes in which the men were traveling, news reports said at the time.

The basis of the new charge is primarily Gwynn's connection with the Forrest City shooting.The complaint describes in detail the arrest in Birmingham, others in the company of the rapper and guns that were found. But it goes on to comment about events in Little Rock:

Gwynn said he was guarding Hampton on stage the night of the Little Rock shooting. He said he didn't know if Hampton had a firearm that night. He said he did not shoot anyone and did not know who did. "However, spent .40 caliber Sig Sauer brand casings were recovered from the stage" after the shooting. Gwynn, who was wearing a ballistic vest and thigh rig holster the night he was arrested in Alabama, had a Springfield XD .40 caliber pistol loaded with Sig Sauder ammunition. Gwynn, who claims to be a bounty hunter, also wore a "fugitive recovery agent" badge.

A preliminary test by the Arkansas State Crime Lab determined that one or more shell casings fired from the Springfield XD taken from Gwynn in Birmingham matched a spent round recovered from the Power Ultra Lounge.

The affidavit also refers to an interview with Hampton who acknowledged that as a convicted felon he could not possess a firearm. He said he had not shot anyone in Forrest City, but told agents he hired Gwynn as a security guard because he "grew up seeing him" and Gwynn "cares about his life."

The ATF agent's affidavit said they had seen social media video of the Forrest City incident June 25. It said Hampton did not appear to be threatened and he "appeared to be the aggressor as he brandished the AK-style pistol inside and outside of the Mercedes Benz."

The affidavit refers to other videos on social media and YouTube, including performances in which Hampton raps that he has "been in and out of jail all my life" on the song "Going Straight In." Video taken in the Little Rock club shows Hampton performing the same number. Hampton is also observed smoking "what is believed to be a marijuana cigar (blunt)."

UPDATE: Hampton made a court appearance today, pleaded not guilty and requested a court-appointed lawyer, though Jacob Rosenberg reported that prompted some confusion because Hampton had apparently said on a form that he made $40,000 a month. Magistrate Jerome Kearney said that would indicate he didn't qualify for court-appointed counsel. His attorney said she would look into it.

Gwynn made an appearance, but no bond hearing was held.

UPDATE II: A news release issued Tuesday afternoon included comments from Acting U.S. Attorney Patrick Harris and Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner:

“With gun violence continuing to rise in our communities, the United States Attorney’s office is firmly committed to removing these criminals from the streets as quickly as possible,” Harris said. “The shooting at Power Ultra Lounge was a horrific event that no community should have to experience. As the investigation into the events of that night continues, people associated with the shooting, including Kentrell Gwynn, will be brought to justice.”
Said Buckner:

“The collective efforts between the Little Rock Police Department and our federal partners led to the arrest of a dangerous criminal and another illustration of the benefit of state, local and federal agencies working together to get these individuals off the street,” LRPD Chief Buckner said. “By no means does this arrest signal the end of the investigation into the shooting at Power Ultra Lounge, but rather it demonstrates our commitment to bringing those involved to justice whenever possible.

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