NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging two Hampton Roads men with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
“Convicted felons who possess firearms present a significant danger to the safety of our law enforcement partners and the communities they serve,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We will continue to aggressively pursue those who have forfeited their Second Amendment rights due to felony conviction. Together with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners we are committed to removing illegally possessed firearms from our streets.”
According to allegations in the first indictment, Mark E. Monroe, 48, of Newport News, came into contact with Newport New Police as an occupant of a vehicle parked in an apartment complex. When officers approached the vehicle, Monroe rolled the window down and officers immediately noticed a firearm on the seat under Monroe’s leg. Monroe was previously convicted of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and was prohibited from possessing a firearm.
According to allegations in the second indictment, Sequia Kerr, 43, of Yorktown, came into contact with Newport News Police after two men reported that Kerr brandished a firearm and ran toward them. Officers recovered a firearm hidden in a trashcan at the scene, and Kerr admitted that he put the firearm in the trashcan when he learned that officers were coming.
Each man is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, and if convicted each faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of a renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Steve R. Drew, Chief of Newport News Police, and Thomas L. Chittum, III, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bob Bradenham and Megan M. Cowles are prosecuting the cases.
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 is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
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