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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Richmond Man Sentenced to 120 Months for Possessing Firearm

Felon tossed firearm with loaded magazine while fleeing from officers

RICHMOND, Va. – Robert L. Coley, 29, of Richmond, Virginia, was sentenced today to 120 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.  Coley was also sentenced to a concurrent term of 18 months in prison for violating the terms of supervised release imposed in connection with his previous federal conviction.  

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Charles E. Smith, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ Washington Field Division, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. and  Senior U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer.

A jury found Coley guilty on November 4, 2014.  According to evidence presented at trial, in the early morning hours of April 28, 2014, Coley fled on foot from a traffic stop in downtown Richmond after police officers detected a firearm in his waistband.  During the foot pursuit, officers observed Coley toss the firearm over a fence.  After detaining Coley, officers returned to the area where Coley had tossed the firearm and recovered a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun.  The handgun was lodged in a chain-link fence and was loaded with a magazine containing 14 rounds of ammunition. 

Coley had been convicted of state and federal felony offenses prior to April 28, 2014, and was on supervised release for his prior federal conviction at the time of the instant offense.  Federal law prohibits anyone who has been convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year in prison from possessing a firearm or ammunition.  Coley was also prohibited by the terms of his supervised release for his previous felony conviction from possessing a firearm.  Coley’s possession of the firearm in this case was also the basis for the supervised release violation.      
  
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Richmond Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Dominick S. Gerace prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:14CR00102.

Updated March 24, 2015