NORFOLK, Va. – A Norfolk man was sentenced today to 124 months in prison for possessing at least nine illegal firearms, committing credit union fraud in an attempt to gain more than $120,000, and causing financial harm to approximately 34 identity theft victims.
According to court documents, Damarco Antonio Smith, 24, is a documented gang member. From in or around 2018 through March 2020, he conspired with at least three fellow gang members to commit bank fraud in Norfolk and on the Peninsula by negotiating stolen and counterfeit checks. He and his co-conspirators recruited people with bank accounts, stole and deposited checks into those accounts, and quickly withdrew or transferred the funds before the accounts were frozen. Smith also stole credit cards and other personal information, which he used to clone fraudulent debit and credit cards. While executing search warrants at two residences, investigators recovered dozens of stolen, fraudulent, and blank credit, debit, and gift cards, along with access device-making equipment like credit card readers, encoders, printers, and laptops.
During roughly the same period as Smith’s fraud offenses, he was caught with at least nine illegal handguns, including weapons with large-capacity magazines. Of these handguns, he purchased at least four from federally licensed gun stores by lying about not being an unlawful user of controlled substances. Smith similarly lied on his application for a concealed weapons permit.
On March 29, 2020, Smith participated in a gunfight where one of his associates was shot in the back and paralyzed. He and his fellow gang members drove the injured party to the hospital, dropped him at the emergency room, and tried to speed off. They were stopped by police who recovered two firearms from the vehicle, including one belonging to Smith.
Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Charlie J. Patterson, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division; Raymond Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C.; Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; Greg L. Torbenson, Acting Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Washington Division; Larry D. Boone, Chief of Norfolk Police; Paul Neudigate, Chief of Virginia Beach Police; and Stephen R. Drew, Chief of Newport News Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Jackson and D. Mack Coleman 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. 2:21-cr-83.