Norfolk Man Sentenced On Firearms Charges
NORFOLK, Va. – Alton B. Couther, III, 31, of Norfolk, Va., was sentenced today to 180 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, for two firearms charges stemming from a volatile altercation with law enforcement last fall. Couther was also ordered to pay $7,571.75 in restitution to Geico Auto Insurance in connection with a vehicle he totaled during the commission of his offense.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.
Couther pleaded guilty on March 13, 2013, to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. According to court documents, on October 17, 2012, an officer with the Norfolk Police Department witnessed Couther drive his car through a red light. The officer attempted to pull Couther over in order to issue a citation but, rather than stop, Couther instead led the officer on a high-speed chase during which he jumped a median and drove the wrong direction on a one-way span of road. The chase ended when Couther crashed into a utility pole and totaled the car he was driving; he then attempted to flee on foot. Norfolk police quickly apprehended Couther and found a Kel-Tec .380 in his pants pocket, and marijuana, scales, and cash in a backpack in the car. Prior to these events, Couther had been convicted of multiple counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, as well as for possession of a firearm while in possession of narcotics.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Norfolk Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney V. Kathleen Dougherty prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.