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Press Release

Convicted Felon Sentenced to 8 Years for Possessing Firearms

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

RICHMOND, Va. – A Petersburg man was sentenced today to 8 years in prison for possessing firearms after having been convicted of a felony.

“Avery has a criminal history that includes over 50 convictions,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “His criminal record includes violence and felony convictions for drug distribution and possessing firearms. In short, Avery is a career criminal and is a prime example of the type of individual that presents a serious safety risk to our communities.”

According to court documents, Charles Avery, 45, who is prohibited from possessing firearms as a previously convicted felon, possessed a 9mm rifle in October 2018 and a .40 caliber firearm in November 2018. Avery sold the 9mm rifle to a confidential source in exchange for a cash payment, and the following month he also sold the .40 caliber firearm, which agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were able to acquire through the use of a confidential source. Additionally, when Avery was arrested on the firearms charges in March, he was in possession of a quantity of crack cocaine.

Due to Avery’s extensive criminal history, clear lack of respect for the law, and need to protect the community from his criminal conduct, the United States sought an upward variance sentence in this case, which was granted by Senior U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson.  

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division, and Kenneth A. Miller, Director of Public Safety, Petersburg Bureau of Police, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Mastandrea-Miller 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 are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:19-cr-364.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Public Affairs

Updated August 29, 2019

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods