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Press Release

Violent offender sentenced for illegally possessing a firearm

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

RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond man was sentenced today to two years and six months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, on Sept. 3, 2022, Richmond police officers stopped a car for speeding and running a stop sign. An officer observed an open liquor bottle in the backseat and asked the driver to step out of the car. As the driver got out of the car, she told the officer she was sitting on a firearm. The officers asked John Edward Mason III, 36, who was in the passenger seat, to get out of the car. During a protective sweep of the car, the officers found a loaded 9mm handgun under Mason’s seat.

In 2009, Mason was convicted of hit and run resulting in personal injury after driving into a man with his car. In 2011, Mason was convicted of malicious wounding after hitting a man in the face with a brick. As a previously convicted felon, Mason cannot legally possess a firearm or ammunition. Mason’s release from supervised probation was less than six months from the date officers found him in possession of a firearm.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Craig Kailimai, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Washington Field Division; and Rick Edwards, Chief of Richmond Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Roderick C. Young.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica Wright and Peter Duffey 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. 3:23-cr-78.


Press Officer

Updated March 27, 2024

Firearms Offenses