PORTLAND, Ore.—U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today that a Portland Oregon man with a previous felony conviction has been charged with possessing body armor during protest activity in Portland.
Maurice Lonnie Monson, 30, is charged by indictment with one count of Felon in Possession of Body Armor in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. Section 931.
According to court documents, on the evening of September 4, 2020, a group of protestors were blocking traffic along North Lombard Street in Portland, Oregon, near the vicinity of the Portland Police Association (PPA) office. The PPA office has been targeted by violent protest activity numerous times throughout the summer.
At approximately 11:35 p.m., Portland Police declared an unlawful assembly after some within the protest hurled rocks, water bottles and cans at officers. As part of the unlawful assembly declaration, protestors were ordered to clear the roadway. Monson was arrested when he failed to comply with the order to disperse. When arrested, it was discovered that Monson was wearing a ballistic “bullet proof” vest. Additional investigation revealed that Monson has a previous felony conviction in Multnomah County, Oregon in 2009. As such, it is illegal for Monson to possess ballistic body armor.
Monson made his initial appearance in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Youlee Yim You. He was arraigned, pleaded not guilty, and ordered released pending a two-day jury trial scheduled to begin on December 22, 2020.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated this case. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.
An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.