News

Silver Spring Felon Exiled to over 11 Years in Prison for Illegal Gun Possession


Three Prior Drug Distribution Convictions Classify Defendant as “Armed Career Criminal”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 3, 2011

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced Joseph Thomas Carter, Jr., age 53, of Silver Spring, Maryland, today to 140 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm. At today’s sentencing hearing Judge Messitte found that Carter is an armed career criminal, based on three previous narcotics distribution convictions in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland.

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; Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy; and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.

“After three convictions for drug distribution, possession of a stolen gun brought Joseph T. Carter, Jr. an almost 12 year federal sentence,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Criminals who carry guns should be on notice that they face lengthy terms in federal prison, with no probation and no parole.”

“These violent offenders with numerous convictions have no place in our neighborhoods,” says ATF Special Agent in Charge Theresa Stoop, “and we will continue to exile them away from law abiding citizens who deserve to live comfortably in their homes.”

According to Carter’s plea agreement, on February 11, 2010, Montgomery County Police Department officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in Wheaton, Maryland. Carter was the front seat passenger in the car. The officers executed a consent search of the vehicle and found a crack pipe on the front passenger seat floorboard. An officer then asked Carter, to get out of the car so that the police could pat him down. When the police officer began to pat down Carter’s coat pocket, Carter ran. After police took Carter into custody, they recovered a Sig Sauer, Model P226, .40 caliber, semi-automatic pistol, in Carter’s coat pocket. The pistol had been reported as being stolen.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the ATF, Montgomery County Police Department and Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorney Mara Zusman Greenberg, who prosecuted the case.

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