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Press Release

Armed career criminal sentenced for straw purchasing 19 firearms

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Portsmouth man was sentenced today to 17 years in prison for making false statements to illegally straw-purchase firearms.

According to court documents, Dartanguia Antonious Lee, aka Donte, Dante, Dionte, Snoop, Snookie and Bully, 42, is an armed career criminal with several previous felony convictions, including serious drug crimes and five convictions for robbery with a dangerous weapon. Beginning in December 2019 and continuing until March 2020, Lee used his girlfriend as a straw-purchaser to obtain at least 19 firearms from four federally licensed firearms dealers. As a previously convicted felon, Lee cannot purchase or possess firearms or ammunition. Lee often transferred the firearms to other convicted felons who could not purchase their own. Some of those firearms have already been recovered by law enforcement.

Lee was apprehended in Greensboro, North Carolina, in September 2022, months after his federal indictment in Virginia. He was apprehended as part of a drug trafficking investigation that involved multiple firearms.  Lee still faces pending charges in North Carolina.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Craig Kailimai, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Washington Field Division, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter G. Osyf prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:22-cr-44.


Press Officer

Updated June 28, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses