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Press Release

Convicted Felon Sentenced to 15 Years for Possessing a Firearm

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

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Newport News man was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for felon in possession of a firearm.

“Keeping firearms out of the hands of convicted felons is a top priority,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This is a public safety and law enforcement safety issue that I am 100 percent committed to. We will continue to aggressively pursue these cases and work with our partners at the ATF to remove violent criminals like Mitchell from our communities.”

According to court documents, Sean Gregory Mitchell, 45, unlawfully possessed a firearm in June 2016, when Newport News police officers were on bike patrol at Mitchell’s apartment complex and detected the odor of marijuana. Officers subsequently obtained a search warrant for the apartment, and located a semi-automatic handgun with a loaded magazine, a small bag of marijuana, a scale, and three small bags of cocaine base.

This is Mitchell’s third federal conviction. He was previously convicted of felon in possession of a firearm in 1997, and distribution of cocaine base and use of a communication facility in the distribution of cocaine base in 2003 in federal court. Mitchell’s prior state convictions include assault and battery, trespassing, unlawful wounding, and possession of marijuana.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Thomas L. Chittum, III, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division and Steve R. Drew, Chief of Newport News Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Cowles prosecuted the case.

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 is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:16-cr-82.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated November 19, 2018

Firearms Offenses
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