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Press Release

Previously Convicted Felon Sentenced to Prison for Possessing Firearms

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

RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond man was sentenced today to four years in prison for possession of a firearm after being convicted of multiple felonies. 

According to court documents, Antonio Smith, 53, was observed by Richmond Police with two firearms after several previous convictions for felonies. In September 2019, Richmond Police were called to the scene of a domestic assault, and observed Smith on the front porch of the residence. Smith then quickly ran inside, only to emerge from the back door of the residence a few seconds later. Police asked Smith to stop, but he continued around the building and ran up to an occupied vehicle that was parked on the street. At that time, the police officer observed Smith toss two firearms into the vehicle. Smith was arrested at the scene and the firearms were recovered. At sentencing, Smith received an enhancement for reckless endangerment to the occupants of the vehicle.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. Click here for more information about Project Guardian.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division; and William C. Smith, Chief of Richmond Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge David J. Novak. Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter S. Duffey and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Holli R. Wood, 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. 3:20-cr-14.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Public Affairs

Updated October 6, 2020

Project Guardian
Firearms Offenses