Four-time Felon Sentenced to over 15 Years in Prison for Illegal Possession of a Gun

January 11, 2010

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. sentenced Bernard Way, age 35, of Laurel, Maryland, today to 190 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Judge Williams enhanced Way’s sentence upon finding that he is an armed career criminal, based on four previous convictions for assault, robbery and gun offenses.

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; and Chief Roberto L. Hylton of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

According to his guilty plea, on March 1, 2008, Prince George's County Police officers were conducting surveillance at a residence in the 900 block of Somerset Place in Prince George's County, when they saw Way enter the driver’s side of a black Lexus, which was registered to him. They saw Way kneel on the driver seat to bend over the center console area. Way went back into the residence and officers learned from the Motor Vehicle Administration that the tags on the Lexus had been suspended for failing to comply with Maryland Vehicle Emissions. A short time later, Way and a passenger got back into the car. As they began to drive away, a traffic stop was conducted for operating a vehicle with suspended tags. As officers approached the vehicle, they saw in plain view on the center console of the Lexus a clear baggie containing marijuana and arrested Way and the passenger.

During a subsequent search of the Lexus, an officer noticed that inside the center console there was a piece of plastic that was loose. As the officer moved the plastic, a hidden compartment concealing a firearm was revealed and officers recovered a loaded Davis .380 pistol.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys David I. Salem and Mara B. Zusman, who prosecuted the case.



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