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Press Release

District Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearms Offense

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Had Outstanding Warrants and Crashed Stolen Vehicle into Police Cruiser

WASHINGTON – Maurice Devonte Beckham, 22, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty today to a federal firearms offense stemming from his possession of a loaded firearm on Jan. 30, 2023, while driving a stolen vehicle in Northeast Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Chief Pamela Smith, of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

Beckham pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition by a person convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year. The Honorable Reggie B. Walton scheduled sentencing for Feb. 26, 2024.

According to plea documents, shortly after 2 a.m. on Jan. 30, 2023, MPD officers were on patrol in the 1100 block of Raum St. Northeast when they observed Beckham walk quickly toward a running Honda CR-V and enter its driver’s seat. The officers recognized Beckham from prior interactions and knew him to have outstanding arrest warrants. 

An officer approached the Honda—which was later determined to have been stolen—and Beckham accelerated, nearly striking the officer, and crashing into an occupied, marked police cruiser and a citizen’s parked vehicle. Officers opened the driver’s door and removed Beckham. Beckham attempted to flee on foot. Officers apprehended Beckham and detained him in handcuffs. They then observed in plain view on the driver’s seat floorboard—the same area from which they had just removed Beckham—a semi-automatic firearm. The recovered weapon was a Micro Draco 7.62x39mm caliber firearm, with one round in the chamber and 20 rounds in its 30-round capacity magazine.

Beckham was arrested on Jan. 30, 2023, and has remained in custody since.

Federal law prohibits Beckham from possessing a firearm because he has a prior conviction in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for unauthorized use of a vehicle, which is a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

Beckham faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.  The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentence imposed in this case will be determined by the court after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Smith commended the work of the officers of the Metropolitan Police Department. Valuable assistance was provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington Field Office.

The case was investigated and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul V. Courtney.

Updated November 21, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-718