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Press Release

Jury Finds District Man Guilty of Firearm Offenses, Fleeing Law Enforcement, Reckless Driving

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant, Armed with Illegal Ghost Gun, Fled Police in Busy H-Street Corridor to Federal Regulatory Commission Building

            WASHINGTON – Frederick Powell, 29, of Washington, D.C., was found guilty by a jury of unlawful possession of a firearm (prior conviction) and other charges after attempting to hide his pistol inside the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission building following a Friday-night vehicular flight from police through the H-Street corridor on September 15, 2023, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Chief Pamela Smith, of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Powell also was found guilty of carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, as well as felony fleeing from law enforcement and reckless driving. The verdict was returned on April 30, 2024, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Andrea Hertzfeld scheduled sentencing for July 12, 2024. Powell faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

             According to the government’s evidence, on September 15, 2023, at approximately 9:40 p.m., Powell was driving an unregistered vehicle in the 800 block of K Street. When MPD officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop, Powell fled at high speed, running red lights and stop signs, even though traffic was heavy and many pedestrians, enjoying the district’s night life, were around.

            An MPD officer later spotted Powell’s vehicle parked outside the entrance to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission building. As officers approached, Powell entered the building, and once out of view of officers, took a .45 caliber pistol from his waistband and discreetly placed it on the floor. The firearm was loaded with one round in the chamber and nine rounds in the magazine. The serial number on the firearm had been obliterated, making it difficult to trace. Luckily, Powell’s actions were captured on the building’s surveillance system.

            Powell had previously been convicted of two counts of robbery and one count of conspiracy in 2017 and was on supervision for a 2021 conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm (prior conviction).

            This case was investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Updated May 2, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 24-383