‘Career Criminal’ and Violent Felon Handed 17-Year Sentence

Judges Gavel
Judges Gavel | Image by Stock Studio 4477/Shutterstock

A man from Irving with 13 prior felony convictions has been sentenced to 17 years in federal prison for a gun crime committed in 2022.

Facilitated by the federal Armed Career Criminal Act, Curtis Wayne Rodgers, 41, faced the maximum penalty for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The repeat offender was indicted in August 2022 and pleaded guilty to the gun charge in June 2023. On November 8, U.S. District Judge Ada Brown sentenced Rodgers to 17 years in federal prison.

Enacted in 1984, the Armed Career Criminal Act applies to any convicted felon with three prior violent felony or serious drug offense convictions who is found illegally in possession of a firearm.

Rodgers had 13 prior convictions for felonies ranging from violent crimes to serious drug offenses, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.

This “career criminal” came under the scrutiny of law enforcement once again after he emerged as a suspect in an incident occurring in June 2022 in Irving. Surveillance footage and eyewitness testimony placed him at the scene of a suspected robbery and aggravated assault.

Rodgers was seen kicking in the door to a residence, asking neighbors where to find the homeowner. The suspect then threatened a neighbor with a gun, telling him “to go inside his home and not to call anyone” before taking off in a black Ford F-150, per the news release.

After obtaining a search warrant for Rodgers’ belongings, Irving police found the weapon described by the witnesses and placed him under arrest.

In Dallas, there have been 2,017 weapon law violations, 5,747 aggravated assaults, and 2,045 robberies committed this year as of November 14, according to the City’s crime analytics dashboard.

Although the Dallas Police Department (DPD) has seen some success in its recent campaign targeting violent crime hot spots, it continues to struggle to curb the rising murder rate, which currently stands at 219 this year for a 14.1% rise year over year.

Moreover, criminal activity remains robust in Downtown Dallas, especially compared to Fort Worth’s city center. A study found, for instance, that assaults were four times more likely in Downtown Dallas than in downtown Fort Worth, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Fort Worth is patrolled by a designated neighborhood police unit working alongside private security guards.

Meanwhile, the DPD has a force of just 3,200 sworn-in officers despite a report by the City of Dallas recommending that about 4,000 officers were needed to maintain public safety.

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