FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
JULY 11, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARYLAND EXILE PROSECUTORS CHARGE 19 PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY
DEFENDANTS IN NEW INITIATIVE TO DETER SALE AND POSSESSION OF ILLEGAL GUNS
Federal Effort Includes Prosecutions of 15 Defendants In Past Two Days
Greenbelt, Maryland – As part of an enhanced federal effort to stem gun violence in Prince George’s County, federal criminal complaints and indictments were filed charging 15 defendants with firearms violations in the past two days, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Four additional defendants were charged in federal court as part of the initiative over the past two weeks. The cases, investigated by agents implementing the new “Operation Gunrunner” program and working with the Regional Anti-Gang Enforcement (RAGE) task force, are being prosecuted in federal court as part of a joint effort by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to deter illicit firearms trafficking in Prince George’s County.
U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, “As part of the Maryland Exile program, federal prosecutors based in Greenbelt charged 57 defendants with federal firearms violations in 2006, which was a 27% increase over the previous year. In 2007, we already have charged 46 defendants with federal firearms violations. The unprecedented increase in prosecutions this year is attributable to our ‘Operation Gunrunner’ initiative to prosecute people who supply guns to criminals, and to exceptional work by the ATF RAGE task force to catch illegal gun suppliers and keep guns out of the hands of criminals. These defendants all face lengthy sentences in federal prisons far from home, with no probation and no parole.”
Maryland EXILE is a joint effort by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to combat gun crime that combines law enforcement efforts, community action and revitalization, and public awareness. The motto of Maryland EXILE is that criminals should do “hard time for gun crime.”
Special Agent in Charge Gregory K. Gant stated, “These indictments and arrests demonstrate ATF's commitment to aggressively fight violent crime, by stopping the illegal flow of guns and drugs into our communities. Through collaborative efforts like Exile, Gunrunner, and the RAGE Task Force we are determined to increase the quality of life of our law abiding citizens who deserve to live free from fear of gangs and violence.
Defendants charged under the initiative include:
Timothy Stanley Johnson, age 52, of Glenarden, Maryland, is charged by complaint with being a felon in possession and theft of a firearm which has moved in interstate commerce. Court documents allege that during his employment with a moving and storage company in March 2007, Johnson handled the shipment of property of an active duty member of the Kansas Air National Guard who was assigned to the Pentagon. Included in the property shipped from Kansas to the Washington, D.C. area were a Remington 870 shotgun, a Taurus .357 caliber revolver and a U.S. Arms-AIG .22 semiautomatic rifle. Johnson is alleged to have stolen the firearms in April 2007 and sold the revolver and shotgun to a heroin dealer. Agents seized the rifle from his residence on May 11, 2007.
Alexander Rose, age 47; Carlos Enrique Segura, age 21; Jeremy Boyd Scales, age 20; Antoine Rashad Thomas, age 21; and Gerald Anthony Thomas, Jr., age 43, all of Hyattsville, Maryland, are charged by complaint with unlawfully dealing in firearms in connection with their sale of 11 firearms to an ATF informant from January to May 2007. The transactions took place in or near an apartment in Prince George’s County. Gerald Thomas and Scales are also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Gerald Thomas and Rose are also charged with unlawful possession of an unregistered firearm.
Charges arising from the sale of two firearms and ammunition, as well as numerous sales of crack cocaine, to the ATF informant are filed by complaint against Tammy Lynn Alger, age 40, of Hyattsville; Edwin Francisco Alvanez, age 20, of Adelphi, Maryland; and Luis Alfredo Gonzales, age 21, of Beltsville, Maryland. The transactions are alleged to have taken place from November 2006 to May 2007. Alger has been charged by separate complaint with being a “straw purchaser,” meaning that she unlawfully purchased ammunition for a convicted felon.
Benjamin A. Morgan, age 26, of Landover, Maryland, is charged by complaint with being a felon in possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of an unregistered firearm after he allegedly threatened to shoot and kill several employees in the lobby of the Potomac Ridge Behavioral Health Center in Rockville, Maryland on May 25, 2007. According to court documents, Morgan told police who arrived at the scene that he wanted to go home and retrieve two shotguns and two handguns to kill people. Agents seized a short barreled Remington Arms 12 gauge shotgun from his residence and an F.I.E. Titan .25 caliber semi-automatic handgun from his vehicle.
On Monday, Patrick Keith Hughes, age 38, of District Heights, was charged in federal court by criminal complaint with being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine; Darrell Sellers, age 31, of Ft. Washington, Maryland was indicted for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; and a criminal complaint was also filed charging Kevin Darnell Anderson, age 34, of Capitol Heights, Maryland with being a felon in possession of ammunition. A sealed indictment was also returned charging two defendants with firearms violations.
Indictments were returned within the past two weeks charging Cedric Cameron Clark, age 24, of Capitol Heights and Robert Marbury, age 38, of Temple Hills, Maryland with being a felon in possession of a firearm and a sealed indictment was returned charging an additional defendant with firearms violations. Charges were filed on July 2, 2007 alleging that James Smith illegally possessed a firearm on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.
In addition to the new charges filed against 19 defendants, Alonzo Javon Nichols, age 31, of Ft. Washington, and Joel Santiago, age 20 of Laurel, Maryland pleaded guilty to the charge of felon in possession of a firearm on July 6 and July 9, 2007, respectively.
The maximum federal prison sentences for the charges filed this week include 5 years for unlawfully dealing in firearms; 10 years for possession of a firearm by a felon; 10 years for theft of a firearm which has moved in interstate commerce; 10 years for unlawful possession of an unregistered firearm; 20 years for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and/or heroin; and life in prison for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime. The defendants also face large fines.
An indictment or a criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment or criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and its RAGE Task Force, which includes the Prince George's County Police Department, the Maryland National Capital Park Police, the Howard County Police Department, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Maryland State Police and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement; as well as the United States Park Police for the investigative work performed in these cases. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Trusty, Stacy Dawson Belf, David Salem, Michele Sartori, Gina L. Simms, Barbara S. Skalla, Jonathan Su and Hollis Weisman, who are prosecuting the various cases. U.S. Attorney Rosenstein also thanked Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glen F. Ivey for the assistance provided by his office.