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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Federal Firearm and Drug Trafficking Offense

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Was On Supervision for Prior Firearm Conviction at Time of Arrest

            WASHINGTON – Delonta Phillips, 29, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to five years in prison on a federal charge stemming from a police pursuit that led to the recovery of a loaded firearm and a significant quantity of marijuana from the vehicle he had been driving.

            The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Thomas L. Chittum III, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Phillips pled guilty in March 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a sentence of five years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. The Honorable Senior Judge Thomas F. Hogan accepted the plea and sentenced the defendant accordingly.

            According to the government’s evidence, on Oct. 11, 2017, at approximately 2:15 p.m., ATF agents and a MPD Task Force Officer conducted surveillance in the 3400 block of 24th Street SE for Phillips, who was the subject of pending warrants.

            Upon seeing Phillips, law enforcement attempted to arrest him. Phillips quickly entered the driver’s side door of a burgundy Cadillac DeVille and fled from law enforcement.  Agents immediately followed Phillips’s vehicle and put out a vehicle description over the radio. Agents observed the vehicle turn left onto Southern Avenue SE, right onto Naylor Road at Suitland Parkway, left onto eastbound Suitland Parkway, exit onto the Suitland Road off ramp, make a left onto Suitland Road, and finally come to a stop in the 3700 block of Regency Parkway, in Suitland, Md. Agents observed Phillips exit the front driver’s side door of the vehicle and flee on foot into the woods. An ATF agent pursued Phillips into the woods, while another agent remained with the vehicle and coordinated the response of multiple law enforcement officers in setting up a perimeter around the ravine to prevent Phillips’s escape.

            While securing the vehicle, agents observed a back pack on the driver’s side floor of the back seat. Inside the back pack, agents subsequently recovered a Glock 26, 9mm-caliber firearm, with an extended magazine containing 28 rounds of ammunition, and a jar and full gallon Ziploc bag of marijuana. At approximately 3:15 p.m., Phillips was discovered hiding underneath a ledge in the ravine, while submerged in water. Law enforcement subsequently determined that the recovered firearm had been reported stolen to the Anne Arundel County, Md., Police Department

             At the time of his arrest, Phillips was on supervised release following an earlier guilty plea to a firearms offense in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He now could face formal revocation of his supervised release in that case.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu, Special Agent in Charge Chittum, and Chief Newsham commended the work of those who investigated the case from ATF and MPD. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Macchiaroli, and Paralegal Specialists Candace Battle and Teesha Tobias.

Updated May 30, 2018

Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 18-132