A Lewiston man was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland to nearly two years in federal prison for being a felon with a firearm.

Lewiston police said Daniel Fowler, 35, was seen running along Ash Street, carrying what they believed was a bag with the barrel of a gun sticking out of it on July 12, 2012. After a foot chase, he was arrested and a pillowcase containing a stolen Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun and several rounds of ammunition were confiscated.

Fowler is a convicted felon and pleaded guilty to the weapons charge on March 21.

U.S. District Court Judge George Z. Singal sentenced Fowler to 20 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

The arrest was part of Operation Hot Spot, an initiative of Maine’s Project Safe Neighborhoods, designed to confront and reduce violent crime, drug trafficking and prostitution in Lewiston’s downtown residential neighborhoods. The initiative was conceived as a way to increase safety and improve the living environment for children and families following three shooting incidents in May 2012.

The project has been led by police Chief Michael Bussiere; Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Cashman of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency; and Resident Agent-in-Charge Dale Armstrong of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty II praised the cooperation of the departments and agencies who have participated in enforcement activities as the key to the success of Operation Hot Spot. In addition to the Lewiston Police Department, MDEA and ATF, the Lewiston Housing Authority, Auburn Police Department, Lisbon Police Department, Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office, Maine State Police, Maine Department of Corrections’ Division of Probation and Community Services, Maine Pretrial Services, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Marshals Service have participated in Operation Hot Spot.

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