Baltimore Felon Exiled to 15 Years in Prison for Illegal Possession of Gun and Ammunition

April 30, 2009

Baltimore, Maryland - Chief U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg, sentenced James Washington, age 29, of Baltimore, yesterday to 15 years in prison, followed by four years of supervised release for illegal possession of a gun and ammunition by a previously convicted felon, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Chief Judge Legg enhanced Washington’s sentence upon finding that he was an armed career criminal based on two previous drug convictions and a conviction for assault.

According to his guilty plea, on November 17, 2007, two Baltimore City Police officers traveling in the 2900 block of Edmondson Avenue in Baltimore, noticed a Mazda MPV minivan speed past them. As the officers pulled up next to the Mazda at a traffic light, they saw James Washington, who was driving the Mazda, drink from a can of malt liquor. When one of the officers got out of the car to speak with Washington, he quickly drove off. Officers followed Washington to another traffic light. As the officer again approached the driver’s door and yelled “police” Washington put the Mazda in reverse, drove backwards into oncoming traffic, spun the Mazda around and drove away. Officers followed Washington eastbound on Edmondson Avenue where they saw him slam into the back of a car sitting at the red light at Edmondson and Hilton Parkway in an attempt to run through the red light.

Officers continued to follow Washington and noticed that the Mazda was slowing down and that smoke was coming from the hood. Washington jumped out of the car, running toward the side of the Edmondson Avenue bridge. Officers could see a black gun in Washington’s waist-band as he ran. Washington jumped over the side of the bridge and attempted to run down the hill, holding the gun in his hand. Washington slipped down the hill toward one of the officers who was waiting to arrest him. After a struggle, during which the officer was able to keep his hand across the slide of the gun to keep it from firing, the officer retrieved the gun and arrested Washington. The firearm, a Glock, 9mm Luger, was loaded with 17 9mm caliber cartridges when it was recovered.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy and Assistant State’s Attorney Charles Fitzpatrick, the Baltimore Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Debra L. Dwyer, who prosecuted the case.



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