Baltimore Felon Exiled to 10 Years in Prison for Possessing a Gun

Defendant Tried to Escape by Jumping in Patapsco River

October 7, 2010

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Anthony Wiggins, age 32, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a gun. Judge Quarles enhanced Wiggins’ sentence upon finding that he attempted to escape arrest and attempted to assault police officers in connection with his possession of a firearm.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy; and Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III.

According to facts presented at Wiggins’ plea hearing, on September 16, 2009 Baltimore City Police officers stopped a taxi with broken rear tail lights in which Wiggins was a passenger. As the officers approached the taxi, Wiggins made several movements as if he were armed. When the officers asked Wiggins to exit the vehicle, they saw a handgun in Wiggins’ waistband area. As Wiggins exited the vehicle, he pushed one of the officers. During the ensuing struggle, Wiggins reached for his handgun. The officers recovered two loaded semi-automatic pistols. Wiggins continued to fight. Two bail bondsmen, who happened to be passing by, assisted the officers in subduing Wiggins. The officers arrested Wiggins and seized $4,750 from him.

Later, Wiggins claimed he was injured so officers took him to Harbor Hospital. As he was getting out of the police wagon, Wiggins broke free frompolice officers, ripped off his flexcuffs, and ran away, eventually jumping into the Patapsco River. Wiggins swam away from law enforcement, but eventually swam back to shore where he was taken back into police custody.

Wiggins had previously been convicted of illegal possession of a handgun and assault with a deadly weapon and was prohibited from possessing a gun.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the ATF, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney ‘s Office and the Baltimore City Police Department for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Kwame Manley, who prosecuted the case.

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