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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Felon Sentenced to Prison for Firearm and Obstruction of Justice Charges

RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond man was sentenced today to more than four and a half years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

According to court documents, in April 2018, Richmond Police Officers performed a traffic stop on the vehicle of Keith Gasque, 26, for suspicion of illegal tint. During the stop, officers learned that Gasque had a suspended license and asked him to step out of the vehicle while the officers continued to ask him questions. Gasque then agreed to allow the officers to perform a protective sweep of his vehicle, leading to the officers finding a loaded magazine in the center console.  When officers attempted to place him in handcuffs, Gasque fled on foot, circled back to vehicle and again fled in the vehicle, nearly striking one of the officers. After officers eventually apprehended Gasque and fully searched the vehicle, they found two loaded firearms in a backpack belonging to Gasque, and learned that the original magazine found in the center console did not fit either of the two firearms. Further investigation led law enforcement to learn that Gasque had recruited others to straw purchase the firearms on his behalf.

After Gasque was charged and detained in the Richmond City Jail, Gasque and his mother, Regina Gasque, agreed to recruit some of Gaque’s friends to falsely take responsibility for having owned the firearms officers found in Gasque’s vehicle. One of those friends, Trammel Lewis, is also one of the individuals who straw purchased one of the found firearms. During phone calls that Gasque made while in jail, Gasque spoke directly with Lewis about the false statements that Gasque wanted Lewis to make to law enforcement, including what Lewis was supposed to convey to a federal Grand Jury.  Both Regina Gasque and Lewis are co-defendants in this case, and are scheduled to be sentenced later this month.

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, and Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen E. Anthony 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 theDistrict Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:18-cr-135.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated April 9, 2019